tv FCC Oversight Hearing CSPAN October 27, 2017 10:54am-1:57pm EDT
watching as november rolls forward. >> lots of tax debate ahead. reporting on all of it is richard rubin, who is tax policy reporter with the wall stre"wal journa journal". secretary mattis's trip and tax reform, likely topics for today's white house briefing. sarah sanders will be meeting with reporters live on c-span starting at 2:30 eastern. all five fcc commissioners testified before a house committee this week, their first joint capitol hill appearance since president trump took office. they talked about the president's tweets and the first amendment, net neutrality and the sinclair media merger.
communications in the subcommittee on communications and technology will now come to order. and the chair recognizes herself for five minutes for an opening statement. and i do want to welcome each and every one of you. obviously a hearing of interest as we have a full room in front of us. and it is our first hearing in 2017 with a fully formed federal communications commission as often seems to be the case, the senate takes their dear ever loving time to get things done, but i'm pleased to see that the commission is back up to speed and i'll tell you i am pleased that we have five members of this commission and they have different points of view to bring to the discussion on all things telecom related. i think that is healthy for the telecommunications and technology industry. we're here today to conduct oversight of the agency which is
this subcommittee's primary role. it is very important that we fulfill these obligations because we have given the fcc a critical mission and critical task to fulfill. from the commission's disaster response efforts to its work supporting the deployment of rural broad band to its efforts to streamline and modernize the regulatory environment impacting some of america's greatest creators and innovators, you are all doing important work and we appreciate what you do. one of the fcc's many jobs is to regulate broadcasters who accept and fulfill unique public interest obligations due to their use of valuable public spectrum. while we were in the final stages of planning for this routine oversight hearing, some of my colleagues asked that the committee hold an entire hearing
about comments by the president on twitter regarding certain broadcasters work. so i fully expect them to question the trump tweets and chairman pai, since we have a very full slate of issues, my hope is that you will address that concern so that we can focus on the work and responsibilities of the commission. the commission has conducted entirely appropriate oversight of broadcast licenses. there is no indication it has any interest in regulating political content, unlike some in our chamber who have urged the fcc to adopt a new fairness doctrine mandating that broadcasters provide equal time to the opposition if they allow anyone to express any type of political opinion on air. the outrage over the president's
twitter musing stands in contrast to the silence as twitter cuts off the voices of -- anyone who posts something they just don't like for whatever reason. all this on a platform so powerful and far reaching that you could argue that it is the modern day public square. and some on twitter have even called to suspend the president's account and after my recent experience i will say i wouldn't put it past some people. the latest twitter scandal is an attempt to distract from the commission and the american people from the fcc's real work which is delivering on a mission to unleash american innovation. so chairman pai, no matter what questions are said, i hope that we're going to stick to keeping our eye on the ball and making certain that we address things like media ownership rules, the life line program, the
imperatives of expanding rural broad band and restoring a free and open internet. that is something that we want to see done by the end of this year. and at this time i yield one minute to the vice chairman of this subcommittee mr. lance. >> thank you very much, chair and welcome to chairman pai and the full complement of commissioners. what a good-looking group. thank you for appearing before us today. since our last oversight hearing in july the commission has continued its work on issues such as disaster relief and recovery and the communities affected by the recent hurricanes, commercial spectrum availability, fraud prevention and closing the digital divide. also moving forward in the process to roll back the misguided title to reclassification of isps from the previous administration. we have recently taken a bipartisan step forward in reauthorizing the fcc for the for the first time since 1990. i also thank commissioner o riley for joining me in the district i serve in august for a 5-g industry round table. i commend his leadership for
infrastructure policies that will be important in our efforts to win the race to 5-g. thank you all for being here and i look forward to your testimony. >> gentlemen yields back. mr. doyle, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madame chair for holding this hearing and thank you to all the witnesses for appearing before us today. let me just say that i really enjoy our time here together as i'm sure all of you do and i would encourage the chairman to continue to hold these get togethers far more often. commission, welcome back. your work on the homework gap has been missed. commissioner carr, congratulations on your confirmation. i hope that as you establish your agenda that you remember that the guiding principle of the fcc is to act in the public's interest. it's a standard that i will hold you to as well. chairman pai, many people around the country, including myself, and many of colleagues are
deeply alarmed by your response to the president trump's threats against the media and specifically his tweet threatening nbc. in 2014 you wrote in "the wall street journal" that the government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories. you took six days to respond to the president's tweet and when you did, you did not directly address the president's threat at all or its chilling effects on the media. while the president and the administration can dispute the veracity of any story, even ones that are true, they cannot attack the free institutions that enable our democracy. as senator flake said yesterday, it is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end. besides this issue, the commission's agenda under your leadership has already had a profoundly negative effect on our country. from increasing costs on small businesses, driving up the cost of calls to family members in prison and claiming that wireless broad band is competitive even when people in
rural america know it's not, it seems that in every fork of the road you have chosen the path that leads to higher consumer costs, fewer choices, and less innovation. and if it sounds as if the worst is yet to come, news reports suggest that you will unveil plans tomorrow to vastly alter the media landscape in this country clearing the way for more media consolidation including the sinclair -- that local news was gathered and reported locally. what good would a studio and reporters in new york have done for broadcast stations in houston or florida after the hurricanes? what good is local news if it isn't local? other news reports suggest you will announce an order to repeal the fcc's open internet order around thanksgiving. madame chairman, i sincerely hope that if this is true that we have a chance to talk to the commission in advance of a vote on that order. the idea that such a significant order that would affect so much of our economy would be voted on without oversight is unconscionable and would be a
dereliction of this committee's duties. if the chairman is intent to act, i believe that his action should be done under the scrutiny of congress and in the light of the public. that concludes what i want to say and i'm going to yield the remaining part of my time. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding his remaining time to me. i want to society myself with our ranking member's comments, particularly to what the president said that was a direct assault on the first amendment and with all due respect to you, mr. chairman, you're delayed and
rather tepid response to that. i want to place verbally in the record the first amendment of the constitution of our country. it was written -- >> without objection. >> thank you. december 15th, 1791. it is as new and as important today as the day that it was adopted. congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. or a bridging the freedom of speech or of the press. they were very clear. they were very clear. or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. i hope you will choose to
enlarge on the public statement you put out and i will yield back the remainder of my time. >> gentle lady yields back. >> gentleman yields back. at this time i recognize the chairman of the full energy and commerce committee mr. walden who has been in the chair all day long with the hearing downstairs. recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. i want to welcome commissioner carr, welcome aboard. we're glad to have you here. welcome back commissioner rosen. it's good to see you on the commission and we look forward to continuing our work with you and the other members, chairman pai thank you for being here and for your leadership. i couldn't agree with more with chairman blackburn that this commission has some very important work to do. the united states has weathered a large share of natural disasters including wildfires that have devastated hundreds of
thousands of acres in my home state and we know the tragedies all across the west. these weather events have shown the importance of maintaining the most reliable communication systems possible and we certainly owe the work many of us are engaged in on first net going clear back to 2012 and we need to make sure that works as planned. i look forward to hearing updates on the agency's contributions, the federal relief efforts under way in these areas as well as those impacted by hurricanes irma, harvey and maria. some of the affected areas are almost back up to speed, which is great thanks to a lot of hard work on both industry and government. we know we're facing enormous challenges elsewhere in restoring essential services in placing like puerto rico and the virgin islands as well as others here on the main land. we appreciate the commission's efforts to streamline permitting, advance funding and provide much needed assistance in these situations. we also appreciate the commission's work to keep us informed through a briefing on fcc hurricane response efforts
we requested and that the chairman's team quickly provided. thank you for doing that. as 2017 draws to a close, we find ourselves waiting on a number of key items to emerge from the commission. in no way does this committee expect our oversight to delay the commission's important work. rather hearings like this are vital to keeping open lines of communication and exposing commissioners and committee members alike to different perspectives, yielding better understanding and better decision making. we expect the commission's work to go on regardless just as it did under the previous administration. subcommittee continues its work having just finished a markup on an fcc reauthorization bill for the first time in many years. thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their work on this effort. last month we held hearing on the challenges and opportunities presented by the repacking process that the commission has embarked upon. i commend the commission's continuing efforts to release funding, work with every broadcaster to ensure their needs are being met as this transition evolves.
your input has been and will continue to be extremely important to this committee as we look at options to solve the remaining issues. we know there are some out there. some of my colleagues may wish to use this opportunity as a form to rehash once again the arguments for dumping cutting edge broad band internet service into the steal musty bucket that is title 2. in any case, anyone -- if anyone was wondering, my position hasn't changed on that. i don't sense others have. this commission should not be dis -- which upended stacks of commission precedent, disregard reams of legislative history to achieve the results that were demanded by president barack obama. it's up to the commission to set the regulatory conditions. i hope to see a new bar set in this regard before the end of the year. ultimately congress is the appropriate forum to settle the debate. i think you hear a little of that passion here on both sides. i've been continuing my efforts to negotiate a compromise. although my staff continues to engage the parties in discussions toward that end, my colleagues in the minority have unfortunately seemed largely
uninterested in this point. i'd love to see that change. the door remains open. we're willing to codify -- for providing certainty to all participants in the internet ecosystem. i don't think we need title 2 to do that. we have the same end goal. preserving the internet as a free, open, dynamic environment while also doing everything we can to extend its benefits to every american. we should be able to work together to clear this issue off our plates. with that again i thank the commission for being here today. we're glad to see you fully constituted and confirmed and as you can imagine, we have a lot of issues to hear from you on and to have good discourse back and forth. thanks again and with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. anyone seeking the remainder of the chairman's time?
no one else. the gentleman yields back. at this time you're recognized. >> thank you, madame chairman and ranking member doyle for holding this hearing today. i appreciate that you're maintaining the subcommittee of oversight of the fcc. i know some people here today would prefer you wouldn't. congressional oversight is important because the fcc is on a path to take up a number of controversial issues in the next few months. nonetheless it's curious this hearing is scheduled for today in particular just one day before chairman pai is expected to make public at least one proposal that enriches a single company above others and that would clear out any last obstacles to the purchase of tribune media company. they would be buying the second largest. the chairman has claimed it is simply coincidence that has actions are timed to benefit sinclair. now chairman pai has refused to respond to my questions about allegations about his relationship with sinclaire and this does not help put anyone's concerns to rest. these moves are another example of how this fcc values large
companies over small ones and always puts companies before consumers. the most glaring example of this of course is chairman pai's commitment to eviscerate net neutrality protections. it protects consumers, small businesses and free speech and i hope the fcc is spending this time reviewing the millions of comments that have been filed including from the democratic members of this committee. i also hope the fcc considers the thousands of consumer complaints that have been made public since the comment period closed. these common straight that consumer problems with broad band providers much farther reaching than the fcc proposed
rule making lets on. together these items have the potential to remake the way americans communicate. and in taking on these issues the fcc must find a way to insulate itself from the political pressure from the president. chairman pai has claimed that he has restored independence to the fcc yet he refuses repeatedly to put any distance between himself and president trump. whether it's neutrality, or even protecting a free press. that evasiveness does not inspire confidence. i've said many times and i think i've told some of the commission members that i remember earlier this year when sean spicer was at a press conference and he said that the president would have the fcc repeal net neutrality before the fcc even addressed the issue. so again, it just seems that everything is whatever the president wants and there's really no independence at all on net neutrality or the other issues. the fcc has a long tradition of bipartisan ship, but unfortunately that's simply not the case today. hard working american consumers and future congresses are sure
to take a dim view of the current partisan politics at the fcc and it's time to restore that bipartisan tradition. i thank the chairman and the commissioners for all being here today and i have -- i'd like to yield a minute each to mr. mcner -- >> the core of the fcc's mission is in the public interest. in fact, the words public interest appear over 100 times in the communications act but by taking steps to limit access to information and content the commission has gone against what i think is the public's interests. this is evidenced by the commission's current efforts to dismantle net neutrality protections and by steps the commission has taken to undercut localism to eliminate the main
studio rule. these and other actions signaling favorable treatment for sinclaire. then there was the chairman's initial silence regarding the president's threat to revoke broadcast licenses on the basis of viewpoints followed by the chairman making a statement but one that was too late and insufficient. i'm disappointed in these actions on the effect they will have. with that i yield. >> thank you very much. thank you for yielding. in order to expand broad band deployment it's important we accelerate or work. additional spectrum is necessary to expand coverage across rule america and capacity across all of america. we must also focus unlocking spectrum that will allow new and innovative technologies to grow. the internet of things and connect tiff devices. all this to rely on access to spectrum and invisible infrastructure of the 21st century. access to the spectrum will depend on the fcc conducting options that will allow additional low, mid and high event spectrum to be delivered to commercial users. that is why congressman guthrie
and i introduced the spectrum option deposits act yesterday. without this fix future options may be put on hold indefinitely. i look forward to working together to enact this into law. with that i yield back. >> i see no other members requesting time so this concludes our opening statements. i would like to remind members that pursuant to the committee rules, all members opening statements will be made a part of the record. we want to thank our witnesses for taking the time to be here today. and for preparing for the hearing submitting your testimony. we do appreciate this. today's witnesses will have the opportunity to give opening statements followed by the questions that are going to come from our members.
our witness panel for today's hearing, the honorable brenda carr, chairman pai, we appreciate that you all are here for this and is the tradition of this subcommittee we will go in the order of seniority. so chairman pai, you will be first followed by commissioner clyburn. so chairman pai, you are recognized for five minutes for an opening statement. >> thank you. chairman blackburn, ranking member doyle, thank you for holding this hearing today. i appreciate this opportunity to update you on the fcc's work to advance the public interest. that work has been substantial.
in my written statement i outlined progress in four key areas, bridging the digital divide, modernizing our regulations and combatting unwanted robo calls. additionally i commended the sub committee for his work on reauthorizing the fcc. of particular importance is the provision just mentioned that would allow the deposits placed by bidders in spectrum options to be sent to the treasury. without this measure the fcc won't be ail to launch a large spectrum option for the foreseeable future. but this morning i'd like to address an area of concern for all members and for me. the first amendment. i have said again and again and again that the first amendment must be at the heart of our work. that is why i oppose the study, an ill conceived initiative which would have involved sending government funded agents into news rooms to second guess editorial judgment. that's why just last month i spoke at the museum about the importance of the first
amendment. my record on these issues is clear. these issues are not new. president kennedy targeted "the washington post" and nbc direct lie telling one of my predecessors that a particular story was outrageous and to, quote, do something about it. more recently some have said that the fcc should reject a transaction involving the transfer of fcc broadcast licenses because of editorial judgments. and six members of this very committee, including the current ranking members of the committee and subcommittee once demanded that the fcc investigate a broadcaster based solely on the content of a documentary that they didn't like and that hadn't even aired. let me be clear. i stand on the side of the first amendment. i firmly believe that journalists should heed to their viewers, their listeners, and their readers, not the dictates of officials in washington, d.c.
don't just trust my words. if you believe the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business. that is why this afternoon i shared with my fellow commissioners an order that will inform our media ownership rules and help pull the government out of the newsroom. we will vote on this order at our november 16th meeting. the marketplace today is nothing like it was in 1975. newspapers are shutting down. many radio and tv stations are struggling, especially in smaller and rural markets. online competition for the collection and distribution of news is even greater than it ever was. and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth. in deep, their digital add revenue alone this year will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting
industry. and yet the fcc's rules still presume that the market is defined entirely by pulp and rabbit ears. as one newspaper has put it, making the argument that the current rules are outdated is easy. that radical right wing rag was "the new york times" in 2003. if this order is adopted the fcc will recognize reality and match our rules to the modern marketplace. first the order will once and for all eliminate the newspaper broadcast cross ownership rule. as president clinton first fcc chairman has explained fcc rule is per verse. second, the item will eliminate the radio division cross ownership rule which is unnecessary in today's marketplace given the commission's separate local radio and local television ownership rules.
third, it will revise the local television ownership rule to eliminate the eight voices test and incorporate a case by case review of the top four prohibition. this better reflects the local markets. finding the jsa has served the public interest by allowing broadcasters to better serve their local markets. fifth, it will retain the disclosure requirement for shared services agreements involving commercial television stations. and sixth, it will finally, finally establish an incubator program to encourage greater diversity in and new entry into the media business. and seek comment on what the details of that program should be. and unlike under the prior administration, i have ordered that the text of this decision be made publicly available tomorrow, three weeks before we vote on it. that, too, is news that is fit
to print. chairman blackburn, ranking member doyle, members of the committee, thank you once again for holding this hearing and i look forward to answering your questions. >> we thank the chairman. commissioner, you're recognized for five minutes. >> chairman blackburn, ranking member doyle and members of the subcommittee, good afternoon and thank you for the opportunity to once again appear before you today. we are nine months into a new administration making it appropriate, i believe, to reflect on the tremendous change this has taken place when it comes to our outlook on consumers, competition. beyond the washington acronyms, yesterday of the will belt way jargon are a series of actions i fear that are jeopardizing the fcc's role as a referee on the field protecting consumers and small business interests. i ask you not to take my word about this. in my hand are 80 mostly handwritten letters i've seen -- received in the recent months.
they express concern ranging from open internet and proposed mergers to inmate calling and a lack of broad band in their communities. amid the many policy changes, what may have gone unnoticed are the enforcement actions that we have failed to take against the nation's largest regulate es where they have violated the public trust and the commission rules. in march, for example, millions of consumers were unable to call 911 for five hours. similar outages in the past few years resulted in the commission collectively fining companies more than $30 million. these past fines were a recognition that we depend on 911 being available during times of greatest need. how did the current fcc handle this year's outage? one of the largest fines ever, no penalty and no report that addressed the question of whether the commission's rules were violated. now, i am all for taking enforcement action whenever the public trust has been violated.
but what is clear is that the majority's focus is on targeting individuals and small businesses where we are least likely to collect any fines. turning to policy. it is a source of great disappointment that as we approach the holiday season, 2.7 million children continue to wait for this agency to make good on its word to bring about real reform when it comes to the inmate calling regime. in april the fcc majority welcomed industry consolidation month by reinstating that obsolete uhf discount. the result, opening the door for single broadcast station group to reach more than 70% of the television households. in that same month, we paved the way for huge rate hikes on
business data services, formally known as special access, that will not only negatively impact small businesses, but rule hospitals, school, libraries, and police departments as well. instead of looking out for millions of little guys, the commission's majority once again chose to align with the interest of a handful of mill multi billion dollar providers. we entered on a path of lowering bar for high speed broad band. as i travel this country, the refrain i hear is that service is too expensive and speeds are too low. we should be aiming to lead the world in having the fastest most robust broad band, not heading in the opposite direction by green lighting broad band service at excruciatingly slow snail like speeds. now last month we took another worrisome turn with the action
adoption of -- ask those in america who are struggling with 2 g and 3 g service. what they want is wireless connect tiff. what they have is lackluster noncompetitive service. simply put, our reports findings do not match the experiences on the ground and in the communities across this great nation. and if i am to believe the reports that i am hearing and read in just a matter of days, the they are man will circulate a series of items that include rolling back the best elements of our media ownership rules. if true, the already consolidated broadcast media market will become even more so offering little to no discernible benefits for consumers. our actions most often the ones that fail to make the headlines have real everyday consequences. while i keep and will keep doing everything in my power to make
sure that we do not dial back any further when it comes to consumer protections, just reasonable and fair phone rates for all of our citizens, media ownership opportunities and digital inclusion, i remain fearful in part because the rhetoric is not in line with the actions. i have submitted a longer statement for the record. but once again, allow me to thank the subcommittee for providing me the opportunity to testify today. i look forward, i believe, to answering any questions you may have. >> commissioner clyburn, you always look forward to the questions. and we are delighted you're here. commissioner o'reilly, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good afternoon. it's a pleasure to be before the subcommittee again. before i discuss certain policy
and other matters, i would like to address the recent tweets by the president of the united states, raising matters within the purview of the fcc. let me be clear. i do not speak for the president and i have never met him. however, i think it's fair to say that the new president and his administration have received what can be most kindly called unbalanced coverage from various media sources. but you don't have to take my word for it or corresponding studies showing the same. former president carter stated over the weekend, i think the media have been harder on trump than any other president, certainly, that i've known about. with that said, i do not believe that the commission's licensing decisions should be influenced or decided by politics. similarly, like my objections to the cozy relationship between the past administration and the commission, i continue to support the fcc as an independent agency. moreover, i strongly believe in the constitution of the united states, which includes the first amendment, and have sworn to support and defend it as part of my oath of office.
but this is somewhat immaterial, because the beauty of the constitution is that it's the highest law of the land and the rights that it affirms and provides supersede my belief or any action on the commission. it serves to protect us all, even the unwitting bystander. turning to substantive matters, a top priority of mine is to ensure that the electromagnetic spectrum is being put to the most efficient use possible. my overall goal of this work is to position the united states and our wireless carriers for overall success in the coming years. we know that internationally, several nations seek to corner the market on next-generation wireless technologies, commonly known as 5g. to reap the economic benefits and dictate the world's wireless future. i intend to ensure that the united states' ingenuity is not unfairly hampered by others' request for this position. moreover, as the demands more mobility and broadband offerings continue, the commission has the arduous task of reclaiming, reallocating, clearing and in some cases facilitating spectrum-sharing. a prime location for such
efforts is the mid bands, including the 3 dot 5, 3.1 to 3.5 gigahertz bands. in terms of unlicensed spectrum, the time has come to determine whether the dsrc remains the best use of the 5.9 gigahertz ban. if it no longer makes sense, the commission could combine with the rest of the 5 gigahertz band and potentially the 6 gigahertz band to promote continued growth. once spectrum is made available, additional options will be needed to sign licenses. but as chairman pai testified, the commission faces difficulty in securing a financial institution to meet the statutory requirements to hold our up front auction payments. without a willing partner or a change in law, the commission believes that it's unable to announce a schedule for future spectrum auctions, much less hold an auction itself.
the subcommittee has included a technical fix within its larger reauthorization bill. it is possible this larger legislation may take additional time. accordingly, i want to thank representatives guthrie and matsui for introducing the act, a stand-alone bill for this purpose and express my support for moving this rightful shot approach as soon as possible. in terms of process reform, i believe that the commission is more open and transparent now than it has been since i've started following its activities. however, i continue to believe that additional changes to the commission's procedures, both formal and informal are necessary and prudent. on that note, the commission's perpetual struggle over the excessive use of delegated authority continues. to rectify this, i have put forth what i consider to be a balanced plan to accommodate the competing interests of permitting commissioners to vote and resolving matters expeditiously. i would be pleased to work with the subcommittee on this and any other process reform ideas. i thank the members of the subcommittee for holding this hearing and i look forward to
answering any questions you may have. thank you. >> the gentleman yields back. so far he is winning the prize for most time yielded back. mr. carr, you're recognized. >> thank you. chairman blackburn, ranking member doyle, distinguished members of the sub committee. it's a privilege to appear before you today. this is a particular honor for me, because this is my first opportunity to testify since i was sworn in as a commissioner in august. for the eight months before that, i served as the general counsel of the fcc after joining the agency originally as a staffer back in 2012. in my five years at the commission, i've enjoyed working with you and your staffs on policies that promote the public interest. i want to commend you in particular for your efforts to enact bipartisan legislation such as carrie's law, the improving rural call quality and reliability ability and most recently the markup of the fcc reauthorization bill. having served in various roles in both the majority and the minority at the fcc, these experiences have instilled in me an appreciation for the importance of bipartisan
consensus and working towards common ground. i commit to carrying that forward in my time on the commission. in my testimony i want to focus on the ways the fcc can continue to incentivize broadband deployment. this is particularly important as we make the transition to 5g, a shift that will require a massive investment in both wired and wireless infrastructure. but if we get the right policies in place, this transition could mean $275 billion in network investment, 3 million new jobs and half a trillion added to the gdp. as i see it, there's at least three keys to getting there. spectrum, infrastructure and ensuring we have the skilled workforce in place to deploy these next-gen networks. first we need more spectrum into the market. i'm pleased the fcc is pressing forward on this front. we have a proceeding under way that's looking at broad swaths of spectrum between 3 and 24 gigahertz and the chairman has announced we will vote later this year on opening up additional bands above 24 gigahertz. these are really great steps towards maintaining the united states' leadership in the global
race to 5g. second, we must modernize the federal, state and local regimes that currently govern broadband infrastructure deployment. 5g is going to require a 10 to 100-fold increase in the number of cell sites in this country. the current regime is simply not tailored to support this type of massive new deployment. it costs too much, it takes too long. so we need to find ways to drive the regulatory, the unnecessary regulatory costs out of the system. we need to speed the time line for obtaining regulatory approvals. doing so will be particularly important for rural america. one recent study shows that regulatory reform can shift the business case for entire communities. streamlining alone could make it economical for providers to deploy 5g to nearly 15 million more homes than under the existing and more burdensome regime. the lion's share of those would be in less densely populated parts of the country. third, we need the skilled work force necessary to get this transition across the finish line. last month, i participated in a round table hosted by the wireless infrastructure
association outside of baltimore. a broad range of stakeholders from wireless companies to independent infrastructure providers all talked about the shortage of skilled workers that can deploy the small cells, distribute systems and other infrastructure necessary for 5g. there's no direct regulatory role for the fcc here. i think we need to focus additional attention on this issue and potential solutions, including the role that apprenticeship and other job-training programs can play. and to that end, i'll be participating at an event next month at the department of labor on workforce development. one last point. while technology continues to evolve, one constant is the fcc's obligation to promote public safety. this has been highlighted the most devastating of ways over the past two months with the hurricanes that have overwhelmed communities across the country and now currently with the wildfires that we see.
while technology continues to evolve, one constant is the fcc's obligation to promote public safety. this has been highlighted the most devastating of ways over the past two months with the hurricanes that have overwhelmed communities across the country and now currently with the wildfires that we see. the fcc has been working hard since well before the first hurricane made landfall. and chairman pai has kept the agency focused on the immediate task of supporting restoration efforts, including by forming a hurricane recovery task force that is coordinating the agency's work. right now, the fcc is focused on the emergency situations in puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands, while continuing to assess restoration efforts across the country. i'll see some of those firsthand on friday when i visit houston to hold a round table with broadcasters, meet broadband providers and visit a 911 call center. i'll be taking stock at the progress that's been made and
the ways the fcc can continue to support those efforts. so chairman blackburn, ranking member doyle, members of the subcommittee, thank you again for the opportunity to testify. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, commissioner carr. you did well in your first appearance. commissioner rosenworcel, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. good afternoon. chairman blackburn, ranking member doyle, and the other members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to be here today. this is my first appearance before you since returning to the fcc. i had a little vacation, courtesy of your friends in the united states senate. of course, a little distance provides some perspective, and in my time off, one thing became abundantly clear. the future belongs to the connected. no matter who you are or where you live in this country, you need access to modern communications to have a fair shot at 21st century success. but the fact of the matter is, that today too many americans lack access to broadband. let's put a number on it. right now, 34 million americans
lack access to high-speed service. that number includes 23 million americans living in rural areas. that's just not acceptable. we need to do better. but, of course, statistics alone don't tell the whole story. to get a picture of just what it means to be consigned to the wrong side of the digital divide, consider kids and homework. today 7 in 10 teachers assign homework that requires internet access. but data from the fcc shows that as many as one in three households do not subscribe to broadband. where those numbers overlap is what i call the homework gap. and according to the senate joint economic committee, the homework gap is real, and it affects 12 million children all across the country. i've heard from students in texas who do their homework at fast food restaurants with fries just to get a free wi-fi signal, and i've heard from students in pennsylvania who make elaborate plans every day to get to the homes of friends and relatives just to be able to get online. i've also heard from high school football players in rural new mexico who linger in the school parking lot late at night in the
pitch-black dark, because it is the only place that they can get a reliable connection. these kids have grit. but it shouldn't be that hard. because today no child can be left offline, developing digital skills is essential for education and for full participation in the modern economy. so i hope that adds a human dimension to what it means to not have access to broadband. now, let me tell you what we can do about it. if we want to get serious about addressing our broadband problems, we need to know where those problems are most pronounced. we need better mapping.
nearly nine years ago in the american recovery and reinvestment act, congress had a good idea. it created a national broadband map. identifying where deployment has and has not occurred. but if you check that map online now, you will last see that it was updated three years ago. and i don't have to tell you, in the internet age, three years is an eternity. you cannot manage what you do not measure. so i think it's time for a national broadband map that offers an honest picture of both wired and wireless broadband across the country. and, of course, we can build this map with all sorts of data sets here in washington. but i think it would be great if we had a clearer picture on the ground. i am a big believer in the wisdom of crowds, so i think we should put it to the public. if any of your constituents have not been able to get service or live in an area that lacks it, help us make that map. and write us at email@example.com.
i set up this account to take in the public stories and ideas and i will share everything that comes in with the chairman and my colleagues. because i think it's time to turn every one of those broadband fails into something better. broadband success. finally, i want to point out that with broadband, speed matters. the fcc has a statutory duty to annually assess the state of broadband deployment. today our national standard is 25 megabits. but the agency has sought common on scaling this back to 10 megabits. that's crazy. we won't solve our broadband problems by lowering our standards. we need to correct this course immediately and start setting bigger goals if we want to do bigger things. let me close by thanking you for having me at this hearing today. i will look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> we thank everyone for the testimony, and this concludes our testimony portion.
and we're going into the q & a portion. and i will recognize myself for five minutes. chairman pai, i'm going come to you first. i want to stay with that freedom of speech theme. during the last administration, the commission had proposed a multimarket study of critical information needs. and you had made the comment that you thought it thrust the federal government into the news rooms across the country. and chairman upton, chairman walden and many members on this subcommittee, including myself, sent chairman wheeler a letter, calling the study -- what we thought would be unconstitutional and urging him to put a stop to the attempt to engage the fcc as the news police. fortunately, chairman wheeler did heed our call. and i want to know if you can -- he put a stop to it, but can you tell us more about that project, how close was it to actually
happening? how much money got spent on that project? >> thank you for the question, chairman blackburn, and thank you for your advocacy several years ago. the critical information needs study was a study that was conceived in the prior fcc. it spent approximately $900,000, as best i can discern it, and the project involved sending government-funded researchers into newsrooms to ask questions about why they were or were not covering eight different categories of news that the government thought were important, asking questions to news directors and the like about perceived bias, and asking a whole host of other intrusive questions. it seemed to me that this was not compatible with the agency's obligations under the first amendment so i wrote an op-ed about it and i'm grateful chairman wheeler ultimately scrapped that study but not before, as i said, a great deal of money had been expended and a rubicon of some sort had been crossed. >> okay. now, when chairman wheeler pulled the plug on it, the fcc
said some of the questions may not have been appropriate, and that the commission would be modifying the draft study. so what is the current status on this? >> that study will not proceed, and -- period. >> okay. i just want to ask for each of you on the commission, is there anybody on this current commission that would support such a study? >> well, madam chairman, one of the things that i take issue with is how that was couched. i was a part of that study, which was a study of -- started out being a study of studies, looking at what the commission gathered in terms of information about the entire media ecosystem. and as a result of us not having information, we have been kicked, you know, back several times into court about not having justification, not having information, not having data when it comes to certain policies. the court has spoken. we don't have the information needed.
we are making decisions by putting a finger up in the wind and seeing where the political winds are flowing and going in terms of -- in terms of information, in terms of our decision-making. >> okay. >> and that's why we have a uhf discount that is totally -- has no justification. and that is because we have no information that we are gathering. we're just making decisions based on political -- >> so you would support the fcc being in the newsroom. >> i will support the fcc not being in the newsroom, because i -- i am a first amendment prophet. i had a newspaper for 14 years, and dare not anybody come into my newsroom and tell me what to print. that is not what i'm saying. >> all right. let me ask you all this. in 2009, anita dunn, the white house communications director, said of fox news, we're going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent. we don't need to pretend this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave. this overall attitude culminated
in the exclusion of fox news from access in numerous large and small ways. as deputy press secretary josh earnest wrote in an e-mail to a treasury official, and i'm quoting, we've demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude fox news from significant interviews. did any of this raise first amendment concerns with any of you? yes or no? commissioner carr, start with you and go right down the line. >> i think it underscores the need for the commission to just stay focused on every action that the agency takes being consistent. >> okay. we're going to learn to do yes or no. commissioner clyburn? >> i'm -- hesitant about asking. i'm trying to grasp what are you saying. all i know is i am very consistent on first amendment principles. >> okay. so exclusion from asking questions or being included. would that bother you? >> exclusion -- >> excluding a news outlet. would that bother you?
>> excluding a news outlet -- that is not how i conduct myself. >> okay. all right. chairman pai? >> i agree with commissioner carr. >> okay. >> yes. >> yes. okay. follows instructions well. all right. chairman rosenworcel. >> tension between administration. >> yes or no? got to learn to do it. >> can you turn on your mic? >> it's as old as the republic. >> all right. >> nothing strikes me about what you've just described as being particularly new or unique. >> okay. that's unfortunate. all right. mr. doyle, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. commissioner o'rielly, in the spirit of chairman dingell, i have a number of questions that i want to ask you with just requiring yes or no answers. and i would appreciate you doing that as rapidly as possible. >> yes. >> commissioner --
[ laughter ] >> thank you. you got it. you used to work on this committee. and you helped draft legislation that prevented one entity from owning broadcast stations that reach more than 39% of the national population, correct? that's a yes or no. >> yes. >> in response to a question for the record from me, did you state that you believe only congress can change the cap via the passage of legislation? >> yes. >> thank you. at that time that you worked on this legislation, did you understand that a uhf station signal, the ones above channel 13, could not travel as far as vhf signals? >> yes. >> were you aware at that time that the fcc did not count the entire reach of uhf stations against the 39% national ownership cap? >> yes. >> and in a twist of fate, since the dtv in 2009, digital uhf stations can now reach a larger audience than vhf stations, right? >> yes.
>> the uhf discount now allows a single entity to own stations that reach more than 39% of the national population, correct? >> yes. >> even though there's no technical reason for this discount any more, right? >> yes. >> so the uhf discount just allows companies to reach close to 80% of the national audience, right? >> yes. >> do you believe that congress intended to create a loophole in the law? >> i -- that's -- no. >> thank you. did you state -- did you state in a response to me that even though you think only congress can change the national cap, this entire issue may need to be litigated through the judicial process to determine which position is accurate? >> yes. >> did you also say that you suspect your position will ultimately prevail at the end of the day? >> yes, always. [ laughter ] >> does that mean you believe the court will find that only congress can adjust the 39%
national cap? >> both parts, yes. national cap and the uhf discount. >> but did you also state that you will support whatever action is necessary to see that the issue gets its day in court? >> yes. >> so are you saying that you're cap, even though you think congress prohibited the fcc from taking that action? >> i'm saying that i need to see what the item is. i don't want to -- >> it's a yes or no question. >> well -- yes. >> thank you. if the 39% cap is statutory, as you and i both believe, will you oppose any attempts by companies to contravene congressional intent? >> i believe they comply with the law. >> specifically, if the sinclair tribune merger resulted in a combined entity reaching more than 39% of the national audience, that would contravene congressional intent, correct? >> no. >> why not? [ inaudible ] >> okay, thank you. i'll let you -- i'll let you get
by on that one. so if that's the case, though -- if it did contravene the 39%, would you oppose the merger? >> i don't talk about any pending merger before the commission. >> if the sinclair merger goes through and the courts determine that you were right, that congress prohibited companies from exceeding the cap, should the fcc undo the merger? >> i don't talk about any pending mergers before the commission. >> let me just say, i think this is a dangerous path, because your response to my questions for the record and some of your answers here today suggest that you may take steps to evade the law by approving a merger, even though you and the majority of the commission agree that it would violate congressional intent. and i hope that you'll reconsider that. let me ask commissioner rosenworcel if she has anything she wants to add to the line of questioning i have regarding that merger. >> thank you. i believe that 39% is the figure that congress chose to put in the law, and that this commission needs to abide by it. >> thank you.
madam chair, i want to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record five documents. one is the chairman's 2014 "wall street journal" op-ed, his response, a letter also that he sent regarding a letter that a number of members sent regarding the president's threats against the media. a letter from consumers' union, and the statement for the record that commissioner o'rielly had sent back to me. >> so ordered. >> thank you very much. i see my time has just about expired so i'll yield back. >> yes. it has. and now chairman walden, you're recognized. >> well, thank you, madam chair. yes or no, commissioner o'rielly. do you wish communications issues were as simple as yes or no? [ laughter ] >> yes. >> thank you. now, moving on. commissioner rosenworcel, i'm glad you raised the ara issue. i was on the committee at the time when the stimulus bill came through and i fought like the dickens to get the maps done
before the money went out the door and i failed in that effort. and so the money went out the door and they drew the maps. what i'm trying to figure out, why are the maps three years old? does the fcc not have a responsibility to keep those up to date? >> thank you for the question. i agree with you. i think we should be keeping them up to date. i think the fact that we spend billions of dollars on universal service fund every single year without having a full sense of where service is and is not is a problem. >> i fully agree. >> it's my understanding that the funds that were used to support that map at the department of commerce cease to be available when the american recovery and reinvestment act came to an end. and i think that the fcc has been collecting data through its own 477 process. but it is not -- >> and how valuable is that 477? >> compatible. >> there you go. >> with the data. >> thank you. >> from the department of commerce. i -- you know, i don't know, wherever you're sitting on this issue, it just seems to me with better data we're going to make better decisions. >> thank you.
>> and that's the point -- >> i actually agree with that and hope you all can figure out what the best reporting improvement mechanism is to get to those data points. so we shouldn't be overbuilding or wasting the rate payer's money. mr. chairman? would you want to comment on that? >> i'd be happy to. that's precisely why several months ago i asked the house and senate appropriations committees for reprograming of funds to enable us to discharge that important function. and i'm glad to report that each committee agreed with that recommendation, and that task is now under way. and certainly welcome commissioner rosenworcel's support for it. >> i just want to point out, that sounds terrific, but it's my understanding that is only for wired broadband and i think an adequate map has to include wired and wireless. >> certainly if the committees give us additional reprograming funds, we would love to pursue it. we cannot act in the absence of congressional authorization from our appropriators, as the committee well knows. >> very good. maybe we can get everybody on the same page on this one. we stand ready to work with you
on it. chairman pai, we have spent a lot of time together over the years before this committee. >> yes. >> and one of my concerns has been that the fcc did not always operate in an open and transparent way. i argued for making some of the proposed orders public. and so it actually circulated so commissioners could read it, the public could read it. have you done anything to improve that process down there? >> i believe i have, chairman walden. i announced a pilot project and the second week i was in office that -- for some of the upcoming meetings which would be publishing three weeks in advance the actual text on the internet of these orders. >> had that been done before? >> it had never been done, and not only was it to potentially unlawful for for it to be done, but it was also unwise. i think the success of the pilot program has disproved each one of those claims of fear and just yesterday i announced that -- two days ago, rather, this would be a permanent project, that we would be doing this on a permanent base for every meeting the fcc will hold, so long as i
hold the privilege of this position. >> and you've also made -- have you made changes on -- there was issue about delegated authority and commissioners wanting to be able to take it off delegated authority. have you made any changes on that one? >> absolutely. one of the things that commissioner o'rielly and i noticed in the minority is if one of us or both of us requested that an item -- that was reportedly going to be done on delegated authority, if we requested that item be considered by the full commission, my predecessor would typically ignore that. and so i said if there are two commissioners who want to handle something on the full commission level, we will do that. and that's what we have done. >> good. main studio rule. >> yes, sir. >> i think i'm the only one on the panel that actually had to comply with that as an fcc licensee for more than two decades. had it -- obviously, you believe it outlived its purpose. i believe it outlived its purpose. it made no sense. we very seldom if ever had anybody come into the main studio for the purpose of looking at the public file. that's now online, i believe, right? >> absolutely right. >> and so i'm trying to get to this issue of why some people
think it was like the holy grail of local communication. because i don't see it that way. i didn't see it that way. we acquired three other stations and another market. it would have been nice to be able to consolidate an overhead and put the money like we did into more news gathering and into the programing and all of that. people still knew where we lived and we knew where we lived. and so i commend you for getting rid of that rule. i think there's a whole bunch of other antiquated rules that are legacy that make no sense in today's internet communication world that other providers and competitors in the market have no obligation to comply with. i don't see twitter with a local community rule in every community they serve or any of these others. i realize they're not licensed. but obviously there's a lot of debate going on now about how all these communication mechanisms work in today's environment. my time is gone. thank you, madam chair. thank you, commissioners, for all of the good work you do. we look forward to having you back up here on a regular basis. >> gentleman yields back. mr. mcnerney, you're recognized for five minutes. >> i thank you for the hearing and the commissioners for your work.
it's not an easy job. and it's interesting to see the different viewpoints you all have. mr. chairman, i recently had a chance to visit huddle, which is a co-worker space in my district where startups go together to bring innovative ideas and working hard to get their businesses off the ground. but they're very worried about the impact that doing away with net neutrality protection also will do to their businesses. would you -- if net neutrality protections are weakened, as you propose, can you commit to me that small businesses and jobs will not be hurt in my district? please answer with yes or no. >> congressman, i didn't know that particular company, but obviously we support a free and open internet that allows small businesses like that to thrive. >> commissioner clyburn, do you think that that will hurt small businesses? >> i think if we shift gears that it would. that they would not have the certainty that they need. and i think that what doesn't get enough attention is the impact on universal service. and we can talk about that later.
but the chairman is not speaking, you know, clearly about what the impact on universal service would be. if we shift from title 2. >> thank you. commissioner rosenworcel, there have been a series of reports on the sinclair tribune merger. i'm concerned about the impact this merger would have. the fcc has a critical role to play in the merger of the approval process. from your perspective, how do you think the commission has handled the review of this merger and related proceedings? >> thank you for the question. frankly, i'm concerned. i think any broadcaster reaching more than 70% of the united states' households would be unprecedented. i'm also concerned that if you look at the series of media policy decisions that has been made by this commission, they all seem to serve sinclair broadcasting's business plans. from reinstating the uhf discount to changing the 39% rule that was enacted by congress, to possibly foisting on all of our households a new broadcast standard for which
they own many, many patents. i think it has reached a point where all of our media policy decisions seem to be custom-built for this one company. and i think it's something that merits investigation. >> thank you. that's a pretty strong statement. mr. pai, should the fcc be doing more to ensure local officials have resources to know how -- local resources know how to use the wea, the wireless emergency alerts? >> absolutely, congressman. that's part of the reason why i supported the proposal last year, to work cooperatively with local officials and stakeholders to see if we can strengthen that system. >> so we can count on your support in terms of producing resources and education. >> absolutely. our public safety bureau and i personally am committed to making sure that that system is robust as it can be. >> thank you. mr. pai, last september the fcc adopted a further notice of proposed rulemaking that addresses increasing the wea geo targeting. the final round of comments was
due on january 9th. when does the commission plan to move on that? >> we don't have a particular time frame, congressman. i will note two things, however. first, the reason we have that geotargeting proposal is because my office last year urged the full commission to include it. and that's part of the reason i was pleased to support it. the second thing is that we are still working very cooperatively with local officials, with stakeholders and others to figure out the right way forward. so while i can't give you a specific time frame, i do want you to know this is under active consideration, and we're going to do the best we can to make sure the system, as i said, is robust. >> well, would you commit to giving the committee a quarterly report on the progress of that? >> i would be more than happy to do so. >> thank you. chairman pai, during our last fcc oversight hearing, i asked you if you would commit to turning over to this committee any reports, requests, memoranda and server logs related to the alleged may 7th d-dos attacks on the fcc's electronic systems.
you said that you had hoped to consult with i.t. staff and attorneys to see if there are any applicable, technical or legal prohibitions against you sharing information with this committee. you then committed to sharing the requested information with the committee, and to the extent that you could do so. so far, no one from your staff has followed up with my office regarding this matter. and we still have not received a single document in response to the request. did you -- do you recall consulting with the i.t. staff about this issue? >> i do remember meeting about this issue after the hearing. if you don't mind, i will take a look at it. my understanding is we had gotten in touch -- perhaps not with your office, with the committee. i'll double-check to make sure and we'll get you the information that you need. >> okay. well, i'll follow up on that then and make sure we get that information. >> okay. >> well, i'm going to yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. lance, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman blackburn. good afternoon to members of the
commission and regarding the first amendment, let me say that i think you, chairman pai, and all members of the commission, are devoted to the first amendment as, of course, we are in congress. i'm proud that new jersey was the first state to ratify the bill of rights in 1791. regarding president kennedy, you mentioned president kennedy, chairman pai, and the "washington post." before you were born, and i would imagine before any member of the commission was born, and when i was a little boy, john kennedy cancelled his subscription to "the herald tribune," the great republican newspaper in new york, and my late father, who was involved in public policy in new jersey, sent him a subscription to "the herald tribune" and we have in our family files a very sarcastic and curt letter from pierre salinger saying we should stay out of the subscription business of the white house. and so from my perspective, all presidents on occasion criticize various news agencies.
i don't find it necessarily attractive. my reading of american history is that this is done by various presidents. and i have great confidence in you, chairman pai, and in members of the commission in this regard. >> thank you, congressman. >> to commissioner carr and commissioner rosenworcel, congratulations on your confirmation. commissioner rosenworcel, you recently applauded the airwaves act introduced by senators gardner and hassan for identifying more spectrum that can be made available for wireless broadband. how would the airwaves act arm the fcc with tools to keep pace with consumers' significant demand for bandwidth and for the race to 5g? >> thank you for the question and the delightful family story. >> i hope i haven't bored you. >> you know, the best part of the airwaves act is something incredibly simple. it's full of deadlines. it chooses certain spectrum pans and then it tells the agency
that it has to auction them on a very clear calendar. i think that calendar is useful for all aspects of the wireless ecosystem, and i think it's vitally important. >> yeah. >> thank you very much. chairman pai, last month, i believe without warning, google blocked amazon's new echo showed devices from showing any youtube videos. as of november 2016, youtube was by far the leading internet video portal in this country with 79% market share. netflix was ranked second with 8%. the same study found that users age 25 to 34 years spent an average of 178 minutes each week watching online video. so access to youtube is a deal-breaker for video devices like the echo show. from your perspective, chairman pai, should the fcc be involved in any way in this matter?
>> congressman, our -- internet regulations do not apply to edge providers or to conduct of the kind you are describing. so as a matter of law, they simply don't at this point. >> thank you. and i think that this is a serious matter, and i don't know exactly the venue we should pursue, but is there any other member of the commission who would like to comment on this? thank you. madam chairman, i will yield back a minute and a half. >> we are rolling! you might get the prize. >> i hope so. please, everyone else, may i have the prize? >> okay. [ laughter ] >> now we're into a competition. i've got goo goos in the office. we'll see who wins. mr. ruiz. you're recognized. >> thank you, chairman blackburn. and yes, i vote to give him the prize. this hearing is timely for a number of reasons, but i would like to focus on the fcc's role in the ongoing recovery effort in puerto rico and the virgin
islands. by way of background, i have training in humanitarian disaster relief from the harvard humanitarian initiative. i'm an emergency medicine physician, and i was on the ground in haiti as the medical director for the largest internally displaced camp in all of port-au-prince after the earthquake in 2010. so i've seen firsthand the challenges that arrive in a humanitarian crisis and the importance of communication systems and coordination amongst agencies, local governments and ngos in the field. two weeks ago, i flew down to puerto rico to see the conditions for myself, and to do a needs assessment based on my training and experience. and i found two things that i would like for you to carry back and figure out how we can work together to improve. one is a lack of clarity of leadership as to which agency is really running the show and taking the leadership on the ground. and two, a lack of coordination amongst agencies, ngos, local governments, out in the field.
not necessarily in san juan. and so my first question is for chairman pai. has the fcc been in the room during these conversations in leadership. what is your footprint in puerto rico, and what is the -- and what is your efforts in coordinating with the other agencies on the ground? >> thank you for the question, congressman, and thank you for your attention to this issue, including personal attention in the island itself. i've spent a lot of time over the last several weeks involved in puerto rico and the recovery efforts. i've regularly consulted with fema, puerto rican officials, with wireless companies, tower companies. >> regularly means what? are you invited to weekly, daily briefings? >> so we get daily briefings on some of the situation -- >> do you have people on the ground full time? >> yes, sir. >> do they go to those meetings in san juan? >> my understanding is they do liaise. >> do they go down into the periphery and the municipalities, as well? >> i know -- fcc staff i've spoken with have described to me how difficult it was in some cases to go from place to place. >> it is very difficult. >> in some places the roads
weren't even cleared. very difficult. >> so that's good to hear, that you're -- you personally are involved in getting calls for sure. >> absolutely. >> and in this case, we have some lessons learned that could save lives. i have also made some calls with telecommunication carriers that have run into a myriad of barriers, including -- and please take notes here. one is a lack of security. available to keep their engineers and equipment safe so they can make the repairs necessary to restore service. two, inconsistent coordination with power providers that could have freed up critical generators for use elsewhere on the island. and three, failures in the back hall infrastructure that have prevented towers from coming online, even when they are powered and repaired. and four, logistical delays that kept temporary satellite trucks which were utilized, for example, in texas and florida, to provide temporary wireless service literally waiting on the boat for days.
so while a disaster of these proportions is hopefully a rare occurrence, hurricane katrina and sandy have shown us that hope is not a luxury that we can rely on. two weeks ago, i submitted a proposal to have the fcc create a list of best practices for telecommunications infrastructure and preparedness in hurricane and disaster-prone areas. i hope we can work together on this proposal to find a common sense solution that fosters improved coordination and more efficient response efforts in the future. so chairman pai and to the other commissioners, will you work with me on this important issue? i'll go down the line. >> yes. >> absolutely. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> wonderful. i appreciate your willingness to work on this critical issue. finally, commissioner rosenworcel. >> that's it. >> you have been outspoken on the need for fcc action in response to hurricanes harvey, irma, and maria.
what do you think the fcc can do to help with recovery efforts as well as better prepare for future disasters? >> thank you for your question and your work on this subject. i think we just need to take a playbook from what we did with hurricane katrina and hurricane sandy. we held hearings. we held hearings and talked to people on the ground in locations that are different than washington, d.c. we came up with ideas. we put them in reports and then we changed our rules to make sure that we are better prepared the next time. while i appreciate that we have a task force, i am confident that all good ideas do not reside in our building on 12th street. and so i think we should be getting out, holding hearings, issuing reports and changing our rules to be better prepared in the future. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. shimkus. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairman. i appreciate you all being here. opioids, nda, and then here. i apologize for missing some of the opening statements. it's been a busy day.
and i just caught the last end of the comments from you, commissioner rosenworcel. and chairman pai was out to my district, and i appreciate that, visiting on an issue that many of you know that i've been working on. 911 going back to when we made it officially a national cellular number all the way back to the next generation. the interesting thing about the trip was that it was a multiple counties, rural counties, working together to move forward. and then we had a round table. and the round table, from my point, it's the people who talked about vesting in the program. they said good and bad. people who hadn't yet joined talked about why, but why they're thinking about it. so i know you've made -- and this is to the chairman. i know you've made a lot of trips to rural america.
i'd like to know what some of your takeaways are, other than just the next generation 911, other other issues that have been raised in your travels. >> thank you for the question, congressman, for the hospitality you and your folks showed in harrisburg. the key takeaway i have from the trips i've taken, over 4,000 road miles in small towns across the country is the digital divide is real, and that is leaves human capital on the shelf, particularly in rural towns that don't have internet access. and that's why i'm deeply committed to doing everything i can and hopefully the fcc doing everything it can to bridge that divide. we've seen the payoff in places like harrisburg where 15 rural counties, predominantly rural income are able to band together and create a next generation 911 system that enabled everybody to be safer than they were before. we have seen the potential in education where rural communities that have high-speed internet access are able to give their kids distance-learning opportunities and better educational opportunities overall. we have seen the change in telemedicine. i personally visited a town in
southwestern virginia able to cut the sepsis rate by 34% by using advanced technologies like remote monitoring. and we have seen the power and precision agriculture. i've been in feedlots in allen, kansas, and farms in maryland and other places that tell me the notion of an analog tractor is long gone. right now technology is the key driver for agricultural growth. so, to me, it just reaffirms the mission of this agency so long as again i have the privilege of leading it, that the digital divide has to be our top priori priority. >> so let me follow up on the universal service fund issues that have been addressed. a lot of house members have talked about how it's insufficient, letters have gone back and forth. my colleague, congressman cramer, and i know congressman peterson from minnesota, has also taken an interest in this. what do you have in the forefront of your plans to kind of address the funding issue on
the universal service fund? >> it's a difficult question, congressman. obviously, some of the bigger picture initiatives that we have been able to get across the finish line, like the mobility fund phase two have been more successful in terms of getting off the ground. in terms of the budget issue for the rate of return carriers you're talking about, unfortunately, we are in a pickle. last year, the commission made a decision over my dissent, would i add, that i forecasted the time would leave us with a shortfall. and here we are and the shortfall is here. so one of the things i have suggested to my staff is that we should think about getting a notice of proposed rule making out by the end of the year, to think about some of the budget issues to be able to tee up before the end of the next budget cycle, which i understand ends at the end of july -- june 2018. to be able to address this issue in a timely way so that rate of return carriers, and more importantly rural consumers have the certainty they need in order to participate in the digital age.
>> and with my 54 seconds left, does anybody else want to -- i don't want to leave out the other commissioners. commissioner clyburn? >> what you're not hearing is a call for contribution reform. and that's the elephant in the room that no party, pun intended -- >> that's fine. >> you know, that nobody is talking about. and that we don't have a rational conversation about that. we're going to stay in a pickle. >> i appreciate that, commissioner. >> two parts. one, i believe there is an opportunity to use some of our reserves for rate of return to balance out both the legacy and the model side to provide -- we're not going to provide all the money they're requesting but i think there is some opportunity to increase the budgets. they have nothing to do with the reforms we adopted last year which mostly guard rails prevent bad behavior. and two in terms of contribution forms, since i happen to be the chair of the joint board on universal service, we are trying to move forward on that, but there is a great difference of opinion on some of those things. so we've had to sideline that for the time being. >> well, my time has expired. i think there is still a great difference of opinion. a lot of members of congress do. so i appreciate the challenges, and i appreciate you being here.
i yield back. >> mr. loebsack, five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. and i do agree with my friend mr. shimkus that we've got to deal with the funding issue. the question is going to be how we're going to do it. first, commissioner rosenworcel, great to see you back. appreciate that. i haven't seen you since you were actually in newton, iowa, way back in 2016. and people there were very happy to hear you talk about the homework gap issue and just generally speaking these rural broadband issues. i saw that at a recent field hearing you did highlight the need for better data collection, and now you've got this crowdsourcing proposal. after you mentioned that, i went to your twitter account and checked it out to see what was going on there. because i do want you to talk about that a little bit more. but before i do that, i am grateful that the subcommittee took up my rural wireless access act and we did move it forward,
thank you, madam chair. we've got to get that out of full committee. it's great to talk about making sure that we have better data. i remember chairman pai, you mentioned going through northwest iowa, going from southwest minnesota to northwest iowa, or maybe it was the other way. and you had a lot of problems obviously with cell service. as somebody who has 24 counties in iowa, i'm fully aware of this problem, as are all of my constituents. but my bill, hopefully we're going to get out of full committee, get on the floor and get this thing enacted at some point hopefully sooner rather than later to make sure you folks have statutory authority as much as anything to do the things that you, you know, are talking about today. but can you elaborate a little bit on your crowdsource proposal? >> sure. listen, for a long time, the way that the fcc collected data about broadband, as we found, if there is one subscriber in a census block, we presumed that it was available throughout the block. i think we all know that that is
not a fair assumption anymore, and we're leaving too many households behind. we also have been collecting data and shape files from wireless carriers, and sometimes they get it right. but sometimes, as you probably know, you can drive through places and find that you have no bars and no ability to make a call. we are going to have to work hard to have more precision in our maps to target our policy efforts and i think we should be asking the public for help. i think they know better than anyone else where they live, where they get service and they don't. and i feel like it's time to start incorporating public comment into our maps if we want to make them effective and accurate. >> i appreciate that. democratizing the process. and that's very important. i think we can all agree with that. thank you. for all the witnesses at the recent repack hearing we held, american towers witness said in his testimony there was a shortage of qualified tower crews. there are some of us who have some ideas how we can address that issue. do you agree with that assessment? and do we have enough crews to get the job done in 39 months, if not what will happen to broadcasters who can't complete the transition in that time?
any of you folks who would like to address that issue. yeah. go ahead. >> well, i'll simply say we tried to structure the phases such that we would be able to accommodate variations in terms of weather and availability of crews and the like. if we get information that there is a bottleneck like that, that might stand in the way of the 39-month deadline being able to be met, we will certainly work with congress and stakeholders to take the appropriate action. >> anyone else? >> i raised this issue a number of times with different industry groups to see where we were and i was concerned there was a shortage of crews and we haven't seen an increase in the number of crews. some of those sponsored by the wireless companies would like to take advantage of the licenses on an early basis. it has been relatively positive. but i think the chairman is exactly right. we have to get through some of the phases to see where we are. >> any of the other commissioners want to speak on that issue? it's a workforce development issue, too. we have to get the people trained so they can do that, and i've talked to my friend, mr. shimkus about that, too. we've got to move forward on that.
while we're on the subject of universal service fund and commissioner pai, you know i've written to you about moving the resources to the u.s. treasury. and some of the concerns i have about that, making sure that the funds actually are used as they're supposed to be used. would you like to address that issue? because i think that's a legitimate issue. if we move the funding, you know, to the u.s. treasury instead of from the banks, the bank, i think that's going to be a really difficult issue that we've got to resolve. go ahead. >> thank you, congressman. and i appreciate your concern. the issue, as i understand it, from a financial perspective, is that -- well, two-fold. number one, from a legal perspective, it is safer for federal funds of this kind to be stored with the united states' government as opposed to a private account. secondly, given some of the issues that arise when these funds are kept in the private bank account. for example, if there are somebody who owes money to the irs and that person is also at the same time getting money from
the fcc, the federal government is limited in its ability to have an offset, so to speak. keeping the money in that treasury account allows the -- essentially the federal taxpayer to be whole. that we're not sending money out the door at the end of the day congress might not want. and so we have been exploring with treasury and with others, the way to move forward on this. but obviously we're happy to take any input on ways to accommodate multiple interests. >> commissioner rosenworcel. you look like you want to say something. >> i appreciate what my colleague said. we've gotten conflicting advice. over the years on this from omb and jao. but i just want to make this point. we get about $55 million in interest income every year from the accounts as they are held today. $55 million can go far for rural broadband, for connecting schools and students. we are choosing to forego those dollars. i don't think that makes sense. >> if i may, congressman. if, god forbid, something were to happen to those funds when they were in a private bank account and all of the billions of dollars of universal service
funds somehow went away, we would be accountable to congress. and you would be asking me, as leader of this agency, why did you jeopardize taxpayer funds by keeping them in the private bank account when thousands if not millions of americans are depending on those funds. that's a tradeoff i've got to make. >> that's why we need to put this out for comment. >> thank you so much. it is a difficult issue. we've got to deal with it. thank you, madam chair. >> you're welcome. and mr. latta. five minutes. >> thank you very much, madam chairwoman, for today's hearing. thanks very much to the commissioners for being with us today. as always, it's great to see you all. and just following up on my friend from illinois, i really appreciate mr. chairman and commissioner o'rielly for you coming out to my district, because i think, you know, you take an interest in this one case when the chairwoman was out with the very small rural telecoms that you met with. and it wasn't where there were a round table. they were on a square table.
but there were quite a few people there that day that you addressed and they appreciated it. and commissioner o'rielly for coming out and talking to the -- you know, our smaller broadcasters in the area. i appreciated that. so it's good that you listened to the folks back home. chairman pai, if i could start my questions with you. like you, i believe that modernizing regulations is critical to spur innovation. for instance, i would like to see the fcc streamline procedures for small entities to seek regulatory relief. the current waiver regime has a one-size-fits-all construction. it disproportionately burdensome on small entities and when needed diverts resources from infrastructure investment to regulatory compliance. do you believe there is a need for more efficient and expedited process that allows small entities to secretly from these unnecessary regulations? >> congressman, i do appreciate the question. i do think consistent with my views we should minimize the regulatory burdens on small providers.
that is an approach that has merit. >> thank you. commissioner o'rielly, what are your thoughts? >> i agree. i think it has incredible merit. >> thank you. commissioner o'rielly, in your statement on the commission's adoption of the mid band spectrum, noi, you noted that the six gigahertz band is adjacent to the unlicensed 5 gigahertz band. would you elaborate on the potential benefits if the 6 gigahertz band is made available on an unlicensed basis? >> so we have to deal with incumbency issues within 6 gigahertz, but i think that will be a tremendous benefit. by combining it with 5 gigahertz. wider channels provide opportunity for great speeds, latency reductions and consumer experience will go through the roof. we have a shortage of wi-fi spectrum or unlicensed spectrum going forward and we need to address that. there's estimates by 2025 we need somewhere between 500 megahertz and one gigahertz of
additional unlicensed spectrum. 6 gigahertz makes a great platform for that solution. >> so when you're talking about especially how badly congested that 2.4 to 5 gigahertz bands are already available to the unlicensed community, so the congestion is how bad would you say? >> so i don't have an exact measurement. when i talk to folks in the industry, they barely use 2.4. 5 gigahertz is popular, but that's becoming extremely more popular. so we're running out. that's why i spend a great deal of time on 5.9 and my colleague and i have worked hard on 5.9. but 6 gigahertz being right next door is a great platform. >> thank you. >> voice-activated virtual assistants like siri, alexa and google assistant are becoming an increasingly popular gateway to the internet. some day soon, they may even become consumers' preferred interface with the internet, leaving the age of the desktop google search behind. you get yelp results in siri
open table in google, tine-in radio from alexa. these interactions are occurring through private partnerships among these companies to have their apps interact. however, it creates a situation where by definition, the consumer's access to other internet content is limited or completely blocked. it's the question of whose answers siri's question when you asked siri something. can the fcc do anything about this? >> under our current regulations we cannot. those do not apply to edge providers. >> commissions clyburn and rosen worsal, do you think is an concern for the open internet? >> again. i'll jurisdiction is limited. i think there's an impact in an influence. but in term of our ability at is very limited to negligible.
>> this our jurisdiction does not extend to that. >> the gentleman yields back. you're recognized. >> thank you, madam chairwoman, and welcome to you, mr. chairman, and all of the commissioners. commissioner carr, congratulations to you. commissioner clyburn, always an honor to have you here at the committee, get to know you. commissioner o'rielly, terrific to have -- to keep the irishmen together. a set of book ends. and to commission rosen worsal, it's really terrific to have you back. i think that all represents a win for the american people. hopefully. mr. chairman, i have been
debating something inside of myself so i'm just going to make a statement. i don't want to go on and on about it. i need to say something. to bring together president kennedy with donald trump. i don't think is palatable. i'm just going to leave it there. you know, mr. chairman, that i have raised deep concerns about rt. our intelligence community is determined with high confidence. that is the highest level of agreement between all of the agencies. that they interfered in our democracy. the intelligence community described them as the kremlin's, quote, principal international propaganda outlet.
i wrote to you on may 8, urging you to consider applying broadcast transparency requirements to state sponsored media outlets like rt so the american people would know whether foreign governments are behind the content they're reviewing. i found your response to be ambiguous and i don't think you answered my questions. it's curious that i get a response to my letters at about 6:30 in the evening. the night before of the day of we're going to have a hearing with you. i think that this is a very serious issue. the intelligence community and all of the members of the house participated in that briefing. it was a classified briefing. there was also an unclassified report that was put out. and that unclassified report was replete with rt. now i don't know what i need to do to either impress upon you that this is a serious issue.
and that you take it seriously. so i want to ask you, would you commit to us that you'll apply or consider applying broadcast transparency requirements to state-sponsored media outlets like rt? and if not, why not? >> congresswoman, thank you for the question. >> you're welcome. >> i understand the law, there is no jurisdictional hook at this point, no transfer of a license, for example, that allows the fcc to assert jurisdiction. >> what about those who have a license and carry them? doesn't the fcc have any say so in that? or is this as the intelligence community said, that they are a principal international propaganda outlet. are they just going to operate in the united states no matter what? >> under the communication act and the constitution the first amendment, we do not have currently a jurisdictional hook
for taking -- doing an investigation of that kind. if you are privy to classified information that suggests there might be another agency that has obviously a direct interest in the issue, we're obviously happy to work with them, but at the current time, as i have been advised, neither under the first amendment nor under the communications act do we have the ability to -- >> the first amendment applies to free speech in our country. it doesn't mean that a -- that the kremlin can distribute propaganda in our country through our airwaves. i don't know if you're looking hard enough. maybe if commissioner carr were still the general counsel, he could advise you better. but i'm not going to give this up. i want to move to something else. that is this issue on media consolidation. three years ago, mr. chairman, the commission voted unanimously to prohibit two stations in a
market from jointly negotiating retransmission consent. and you were part of that unanimous vote. now, by eliminating the duopoly rule, which reports indicate you're planning to do next month, you would permit two of the top four stations in the market to merge. so how do you explain this? >> the reports are inaccurate. as i outlined in my opening statement and as you'll see tomorrow when we publish in an unprecedented fashion the actual tex of the dume, we're doing a case by case review -- >> sinclair, this will apply to sinclair? >> it applying to any broadcaster that enters into an agreement that would be in violation of the top four prohibition. >> dominance of a market, how does that fit? where does that fit? >> some would argue we should just get rid --
>> the gentle lady's time has expired. >> he can answer. >> some would argue we get rid of the top four prohibition. we would review if there are particular facts that a particular broadcaster would bring to us, that presents a compelling case that that combination be in the public interest, we'd take a look. otherwise, the prohibition applies. >> i wish i had more time. >> mr. guthrie, five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairman. thank you, everyone, for being here, and for mr. carr, welcome. commissioner rosenworcel, welcome back. first, chairman pai and commissioner o'rielly, thanks for letting us know about the auctions and the inability for the financing you need. i know the chairman has in the authorization bill taken care of this, but yesterday, we did drop a bill specifically to fix issues so we can move forward hopefully on the option of moving forward.
in 2013, i was one of the households affected by this, there was a carriage dispuce between cbs and time warner cable. cbs blocked time warner cable users from viewing its shows online. i couldn't get any of that on tv. if you went to the website, because time warner cable was our cable provider, you couldn't go to cbs.com. it was blocked. showtime to watch any of those shows that were coming out. that was when new ones were coming out. some members of congress did bring this up. >> chairman clyburn was acting chairwoman at the time and she said she didn't believe the agency has the ability to intervene. if it happened now, do you think the fcc would have the opportunity to intervene in a similar case. >> i think that the legal authorities have not changed to the extent the fcc gets a complaint that a party is acting in bad faith.
then we would be able to adjudicate it. but absence such a complanltd or additional authority from congress, we couldn't take further action. >> currently, the title 2 open internet is still in effect. how would that affect it? >> currently, yes, to be clear, our internet regulations would not apply to that kind of content to the extent you're talking about, the blocking of online distribution. >> because it only applies to the service provider not the content? >> that's correct, sir. >> commissioner clyburn, to comment on that, so being an advocate for the title 2, should it be expanded where it doesn't just affect internet service providers but also jurisdiction on the content side as well? it's good for one should be good for other. >> i'm not in a position to comment at this time. i just know what's in front of me. and what the rules of the road are at this time. >> okay. same answer. >> no to be clear that behavior
was problematic. from a consumer perspective, that stinks, right? >> always a consumer. >> i would point out that what we're talking about when we talk about telecommunications service and telecommunications under title 2 is about the provision of service by provider of broadband and it does not, the jurisdiction does not extend to the content providers. >> that was my point. thank you. questions on spectrum. cochair with congresswoman on the spectrum caucus. so we sent a letter last summer. this to commissioner pai. chairman pai, last summer regarding a pending license modification for the l band, sounds like terrestrial network. what's your ideal timeline for getting information from the other agencies you're working with? do you think the end of the year is reasonable or do you need more time? >> we don't have a specific timeframe at this point, but it's under active consideration and we're collaborating with other agencies and private
stakeholders to see if we can reach a resolution. >> for all the commission, given the efforts of the spectrum caucus, i support a deep dive by the committee on wireless issues. for auctions, could you give me what you think is the top spectrum issue that we should be focusing on this upcoming calendar year for moving forward on auctions? what do you think is the top issue for the committee? all of you can answer. mr. carr first. >> sure. we have the hurdle in terms of authority to conduct auctions in terms of money. the top focus that i have over the next year is infrastructure deployment on the wireless side. i think we have a lot of progress that we can make there to help maintain our leadership. >> for me, to insure that multiple providers no matter what size and if they have the ability to participate. so it would be contour the size of the bidding area. >> good answer. >> and the tried and true
tradition of pandering to my legislation, i think that's the number one issue. we cannot have spectrum auctions certainly of significance without that fix. it is a bottleneck for the agency. >> you may be about next. that was good pandering. commissioner o'rielly, about ten seconds. >> infrastructure and freeing more spectrum. >> all right, i agree with my colleagues. but i also want to read you a list. 3.7 to 4.2 gigahertz. 37, 39. 6 gigahertz, 28, 37, 39, 24, 32, 42, 47, 50, 70, 80, and 95 gigahertz are all under consideration at the commission right now. what we need instead of that blitz of spectrum is a calendar that makes clear we have bands that we are going to auction earlier than others so the wireless eco-system and markets can organize around it. >> thank you. that's helpful. >> the gentleman yields back.
mr. pallone for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairman. my questions are to chairman pai. i want to discuss your reaction to the president's attack on the press. i have a number of questions. if if you could keep your answer to yes or no, i would appreciate it. mr. chairman, are you aware that the president said, and i quote, network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake, that licenses must be challenged, and if appropriate, revoked? >> is that, sorry. from the tweet? >> yes. the question is are you aware of that quote? >> yes. >> thank you. are you aware that the president said, and again, i quote, it is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write and that the "new york post," nbc news, abc, cbs, and cnn are the enemy of the american people. are you aware of that? >> yes. >> do you think these types of statements are appropriate for the president of the united states to speak?
>> im going to speak to my own view. and my own words. my views are i stand with the first amendment. i won't characterize the views of anybody else. >> but, mr. chairman. you did say on another occasion and i quote that the american people are being misled about president obama's plan to regulate the internet. right? you said that. >> because that was a direct compromise of the agency independence on a particular pending issue. where the agency was heading in a different direction. >> if you're not shy about speaking out against president obama, why would you -- would you condemn -- let me ask you this, would you condemn attacks on the president if they had come from president obama? >> congressman, i always focus on the facts and the law. that is our job. and in term of licensing. >> i think it's a double standard. but before coming to the fcc you worked for senator jeff sessions, correct? >> yes, sir. >> are you aware that when asked if he would, and i quote, jail reporters for doing their job, he said he cannot make a blanket commitment to that effect.
>> i'm not aware of it. i hadn't heard that. >> he said it. when you spoke at the center last week. did you say, and i quote, under the law, the fcc doesn't have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on the content of a particular newscast? >> yes, i did. >> do you understand why reporters might be concerned when the attorney general and the chairman of the fcc leave open the threat of punishment and even jail time? >> congressman, again, i wasn't familiar with general sessions' statements and i'm not familiar with the perceptions of journalists. i'll say this fcc stands on the side of the first amendment. and that includes the ability of journalist to gather news as they see fit. >> the problem is the people raising this issue are concerned that your silence or your overly lawyered responses kriblt to a culture of intimidation that can chill free speech. that's why i'm trying to clear the air. i'm concerned about the impact
of either silence or overly lawyered responses. at the murcoda center, you said you would not act based on a particular newscast. would you revoke a license based on multiple newscasts? >> no. >> okay. i have here a working paper. i don't know if it's in the record, madam chairman. i might have to ask you if we can enter it into the record. >> so ordered. >> i have a working paper produced by the center. in the working paper the center suggests the fcc able to threaten free speech through other mechanisms like license transfer. do you commit that your commission will not threaten broadcasters license transfers based on the content of reporting? >> do you commit the commission will not launch investigations into companies based on the content of reporting? >> can you repeat that. >> do you commit that your commission will not launch investigations into companies based on the content of their reporting? >> yes. >> okay. do you commit that your
commission will not take any acts of retribution against companies based on the content of reporting? >> yes. >> okay. and let me look. i appreciate working that out. because i think that's important. so finally, chairman pai, when you first took office, you committed to me that you would be responsive to congress even if a request came from democratic members. i have heard complaints from my colleagues that your responses to a number of letters have been nonsubstantive and evasive. you have even avoided multiple times answering my questions about allegations involving your relationships with sinclair broadcasting, including refusing to even answer my letters. let me say, we'll look into your continued evasiveness on some of the important issues including sinclair. and i just want you to know that i'm not happy and i'm not going to tolerate the agency not responding to us. because i don't really feel they
have with regard to sinclair. and so many other issues. that's my opinion. thank you, madam chairman. >> gentlemen yields back. mr. bilirakis, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. i appreciate it very much. before i begin my questioning, chairman pai, i know you inherited a backlog of petitions related to the telephone communication protection act. this is an area of real concern to many individuals across various industries. i look forward to your response and future action to this topic. i'll move on here. commissioner o'rielly, during last oversight hearing, i had a discussion with chairman pai regarding interference complaints and pirate radio operations. i know this is an important area. i know you care about it very much. to resolve it. can you share the differences between repercussion pirate radio operators face as compared to robocallers?
>> i'll give you a example of a couple different items we're taking. in terms of radio, we did one that was $144,000 for a pirate radio operating in florida. in terms of a robocall, it was $82 million. in terms of a cramming call, cramming behavior, it was $3.9 million. $3.9, 82, 144,000. the difference between the two, between the three is amazing. >> wow. okay. related to this topic again for you, commissioner. do you or any of the commissioners here on the panel know of any instances where pilot radio operators interfere with public safety or military use frequencies? we'll start off with you, mr. o'rielly. >> typically, it wouldn't be pirate radio. that's operating within the a.m. or f.m. band. they have violated the sanctity of public safety. just recently, we had
enforcement action of someone in new york that was violating the new york public safety system. and they were fined. or they had an enforcement action against them. they are actually still in prison at the time, but we'll see if we get the money. >> anyone else? i'll go to the next question. chairman pai, i regularly advocate for seniors and improve quality of life for seniors. i think you know that. 5g technology promises great benefits for our growing elderly population. what can the fcc do to advance specific technologies, telehealth technologies like remote patient monitoring, to allow seniors to remain independent and age in place? >> that's a great question. it's a growing need as population ages. i don't want to steal her thunder. commissioner clyburn has been a leader on this issue and pioneering the connection to health initiative.
she's been a leader on it. >> thank you so very much, mr. chairman. one of the things that we're proud of is the chairman has endorsed and the connect to health task force. as he mentioned. one of the things that is doing is looking at that intersection of broadband technology and health. and another thing that's it's doing is helpful, it has developed a broadband mapping tool that looks at what is going on on a county-by-county basis in the united states, and looking at where broadband is available, where health care providers are or are not, and is informing communities as to how best approach a different business model. different initiatives that might be needed in a particular area. so we're really on, as quiet as it's kept, we're front and center on providing a means for people to be informed so they can make better critical decisions. and this will help us also on our health care connect fund, which we need to talk about
enhancing that, because in order to make all of these things more ubiquitous, allowing people to age in place and address their needs, connectivity is key, affordability is key, and i'm looking forward to working with you as we progress. >> everybody on board with this? anyone want to make a comment? >> last point, maybe, that we have to balance all those things with all our budget overall, so talk about expanding the services, we have to figure how to pay for all that. >> absolutely. chairman pai. >> i'll add to the issue, i think the importance cannot be overstated. if you're an older person who has difficulty coming into a hospital or you just had surgery and you just returned home, the worst thing that can happen for you is to get an infection or some illness to require you to come back. i have seen for myself in stanton, virginia, how a hospital center uses monitoring, as i said earlier in response to
a question, to decrease the sepsis rate by 34% disproportionately, i think, among older individuals. that's something if you can intervene quickly thanks to this technology, everybody is better off. the health care system hospital rej min of treatment. it's something i'm excited abtd. i'm glad the commissioner clyburn has been a pioneer on this issue. >> wonderful. thank you. i yield back. >> miss dingle. five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. i have no voice. too much talking. it's great to have you here. the dingles have a long connection with fcc, sometimes good, sometimes not. i want to first start the important topic of privacy. i'm really worried about privacy. and i think you all need to be too. this new broadcast standard allows for internet, tv.
personalized ad placement and for granule collection of data about who is watching what. chairman pie, if someone is looking to take advantage of this personalized content, they'd like to give up information about themselves would they not? if someone wants to use it. they have to tell the provider what personal information about themselves? >> the individual consumers? >> yes the consumer. >> well, depends on the particular -- these are services. >> they're personalized content, that's the -- so as we're looking at this ats 3 is going to be more personalized content. >> yeah. >> how is the fcc considering privacy concerns as the commission's looking at the this new standard? >> great question. right now we're looking at just the technical standard should we able proceed with this new next generation tv standard and if so what should the technical parameters be. i would imagine that as those
privacy concerns and others like that have come to the fore that the agency is looking at that too. >> i think it's really important. my staff wouldn't let me ask some of the other questions i wanted to ask today, but i don't think people realize that when we'll have televisions watching us that there's reverse as people are using all of these great new gadgets how much information is being collected about them and who has responsibility for letting them know that kind of data is being collected? >> right. i think the first instance the federal trade commission has generally been the cop -- >> but so much of this is with the fcc. i think you all have a responsibility to really look at some of this. and do you think that this new data that's generated will be kept in-house or do you think it's sold to third party? >> the standard hasn't even been adopted. >> should this be part of
looking at a standard? >> as the sources materialize we'll be monitoring all those concerns. >> okay. the last time you were here in july, you agreed to follow up with this committee on the steps you were taking to mitigate attacks. what updates can you share with us? >> we've provided a detailed response to the committee and be happy to provide that to you with some of the particulars in that regard, but what i can say is that our i.t. staff is always vigilant to make sure we have the protocols in place to make sure that our i.t. systems are up and running. appreciate the chance to work with this committee to get the funding to make sure that continues to be the case. >> let me go to -- i'll leave you off the hook and ask commissioner rosenwsarsal do you think the public interest standards requires that you look at the effective commission actions on small businesses and consumers? >> absolutely. small businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs in the economy.
the commission should always be thinking about the impact on small business, and i think the public interest standard incorporates that. >> thank you. a lot of us have already asked this question so i'm just going to make an observation and see if you all agree or disagree with me. mergers of the scale of the "sinclair tribune" are not always popular, but i can't ever remember when everybody was so opposed to the idea. can any of you think of a merger that has meant this type of united opposition? >> no. >> commissioner clyburn? >> i can say within my last eight-plus years, this is the most energized that i've seen diverse parties. >> and anybody else that wants to say something? >> i use the word energized but i would say i have seen it before and that's the reason we have a 39% cap. it was result of a transaction that caused a lot of up brass
between the relationship between the network and affiliate and that's the reason the congress stepped in at the time and addressed it so in terms of the excitement or energize, i've seen the energy level far beyond what it is today in that -- >> the broad spectrum of people opposing is unusual. i'll yield back my nine seconds madam chair. >> mr. johnson for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. and thank the commissioners for being here today. i've listened, i've heard some buzzwords that caught my attention full chairman walden talked about the complexity of the telecom environment and how difficult your job is and i agree with that. commissioner cliburn talked about how the technology is necessary to create opportunities for americans,
particularly in rural america, and it took me back a little bit and i've been thinking about this for the last several months. how important your job is. if you look at the 100 years of american history from 1868 to roughly 1970, we started out in 1868 at the most divided point that our nation has ever been in at the end of a brutal and bloody civil war. we healed our internal wounds to go into and fight off tyranny in europe in two world wars mobilizing from scratch both times practically. did the same thing in korea and at the same time in that 100 year period from 1868 to 1970 we saw one of the most explosive
innovative periods in human history. the light bulb, and all of it borne right here, the light bulb, the combustion engine, the automobile, the mass production of automobiles, the assembly line process, the industrialization of western cultures, the airplane, powered flights, space travel, landing a man on the moon, organ transplants, telecommunications and computing technology, nuclear power, that i think could arguably -- the case could be made that that was one of the most innovative periods in human history. i talk about that a lot to people that i represent back in ohio because then i follow it with a question, what have we done since 1970? you know what answer i get most often, the internet. telecom.
and why is that the case? i believe that's the case because it's the one area that the federal government couldn't figure out how to regulate. if you go back to the '70s that's when the epa came into being, that's when the department of energy came into being, that's when the department of education came into being. all of a sudden back in the '70s, washington kind of thought that the american people had it wrong for all that time. instead of telling the american people what we should be innovating on and what we should be focused on to create opportunities for the american people, washington started talking about how to innovate, where to innovate, when to innovate, why to innovate and in many cases picking the winners and losers and determining who should be able to innovate. so i throw that out there just as a thought provoker to you folks. your job is so vitally important. we can't throw water on the camp fire of american innovation and ingenuity and i would i submit if we really want to create
opportunities, if we would -- if we would just look at our own nation's history and realize that if washington would just get out of the way in many regards that the american people are more than capable of creating their own opportunities through innovation and ingenuity and i think that's important thing to for you folks to remember. and i see the attitude of the commission today and i think that's what you're trying to do so i applaud that. let me ask you one quick question and it's a yes or no question, so it'll be easy, especially for commissioner o'reilly. he's good at the this. in 2013 it was reported that the justice department had spied extensively on fox news reporter james rosen in 2010 collecting his phone records two days worth of his personal e-mails and tracking his movements to and from the state department. so in the 32 seconds that i have remaining, each of you starting
with mr. carr, commissioner carr, did this raise first amendment concerns for you at that time? yes or no? >> i think what i've said is that it reinforced -- >> follow mr. o'reilly. >> the importance of the commission as everyone has said being committed to the first amendment and everything we do at this agency. >> okay. >> that's an interesting question. i will say it raised personal and privacy and other concerns. >> okay. >> i agree with commissioner carr. >> yes. >> you are good. >> that's a disturbing tale, yes. >> thank you. madam chair, i yield backache. >> the gentleman yields back. ms. matsui for five minutes. >> thank you very much madam chair. first of all, welcome. i'm glad to see all of you here and i want to welcome back commissioner carr and rosenwsarsal.
as co-chair with my good friend we're very focused on the opportunity unleashed new spectrum that would help us get to 5g. we've introduced legislation that provides financial incentives to federal agencies to reallocate unused or underutilized spectrum holdings. commissioner o'reilly, will you commit to working with us to try to strike an appropriate balance for the 3.5 gig hertz band that would be the foundation for 5g deployment? >> i'm not in charge. we'll work as an agency to dispose of our item that we adopted yesterday so i'll work with the committee in any capacity and take his views into account in terms of my vote but in terms of your point incentives for federal agencies to clear bands, it's not just incentives, it's also going to need the carrot and the stick so we need more of the stick. those two pieces have to go hand in glove. i'd be happy to work with you in putting some of the stick in your legislation. >> would you like to add a
comment or two? >> i believe carrots work together than stick and when it comes to spectrum policy what we need to do is make federal users internalize the cost of their holdings. they need to be able to report at some level what the value perform what they have today is and then we need to figure out how to give them incentives so they see gain and not just loss from reallocation. >> okay, i can see a carrot and stick here working very well together. so thank you. today everyone needs a broadband connection. we all know that in every part of the country. i have over 20,000 constituents utilizing life line program to obtain access to broadband. this is a real program that's helping low-income families access communications are essential in a digital economy. the national life line eligibility verifier will be a significant steps towards this goal but will not be fully up
and running until 2019. now in august i wrote to the commission to request steps that the fcc is taking to implement the verifier. chairman pai i received your response last night. could you give me an update on getting the national verifier fully up and run and commit to providing me and the committee with regular updates in the future. >> i'll take the second piece first. the quarterly reports will be forthcoming and our staff have talked about that going forward. in terms of the first point which is the update, we are on track. i've been advised to by -- in december of 2017 for what's called a soft launch of the national verifier with a full launch in 2018. the first states that will be considered for the national verifier is colorado, mississippi, montana, new mexico, utah and wyoming and in 2018 you sack will roll out
an additional 19 states and working with other stakeholders. to make sure that that verifier works and serves consumers need and so we'd be happy to work with you on this issue and thank you for flagging it for our attention. >> appreciate that. commissioner cliburn can you talk about what is needed at the fcc to ensure the life line program remains an option for low income households to access to communications or broadband moving forward? >> we need to have the mechanism to encourage providers to get involved and get to provide more opportunity. if you know back in february, we stopped nine providers that did nothing wrong from gaining access into offering opportunities and some of them had to even discontinue service. so we need to give the states the power and the ability they need to include to have lifeline providers, particularly for broadband and we need to get out
of the way. the fcc is not getting out of the way in allowing these reforms that have been the contours that have been laid out to happen. so we're in the way of lifeline becoming a phenomenal program. >> okay. at this point, thank you very much and i will yield back something of this time. >> awesome. not in the running for the prize, but getting close. mr. flores, five minutes. >> thank you madam chair and i want to welcome commissioner carr and rosenwsarsal to the commission. it's great to have you here for your first testimony today. >> we all know that reliance on mobile networks is growing at a break neck pace. my question is this, what more does the fcc and congress need to be doing to ensure that we keep up with consumer and business demands for mobile? i'll start with you commissioner carr. >> thanks for the question. >> the short answers if you can.
>> my principal focus is infrastructure deployment. we have to streamline the rules. the current regime we have relatively few small cell employments. we'll need to get to millions of cell sites. >> we need to focus on the areas where we have 2 and 3g service. that's why i was pushing so much for the mobility fund phase two and we need to talk about affordability which is why i'm pushing for lifeline program. >> agree with my colleagues. i would add spectrum as a critical input from 600 meg ag hertz all the way up to -- i couldn't write that fast. commissioner o'reilly. >> three things. infrastructure which means pre-emption, two its spectrum and three it means deciding what to do on those hardest to reach individuals we don't have a plan for today. >> okay. commissioner rosenwsarsal.
>> i'll give you one thing, which is we should set a time for auctioning the 28 gig hertz band make it our first millie meter waves. >> that's the first priority is that auction is that correct? >> i believe so, yes. >> thank you. i want to go back to the first amendment conversations we've had today. yes or no answers would be appropriate for this one. in 2013 the justice department revealed that they had been secretly combing through the work and home of cell phone workers of 100 associate press reporters in what appeared to be a fishing expedition as well as an effort to frighten off whistle-blowers. did this action raise first amendment for you? >> this is what drives home the importance of us committing to the first amendment and always acting consistently. >> that's a yes? >> commissioner cliburn? >> not sure how to answer that. yes or no. i'm sorry. >> chairman pai. >> yes. >> okay. >> yes. >> that sounds troubling.
>> all right. i appreciate the work y'all have been doing for a.m. vitalization. let's continue along that line for a minute and what's the status of your effort to revitalize a.m. radio. >> thanks for question. the translator window has been a success. great many folks have applied for an fm translator. we'll have several hundred of those that will be processed and going forward we're thinking about some of the bigger picture issues that are of interest to broadcasters and we're trying to sort through the record and see if we can find a consensus on those issues. >> you answered my second question as well. what can this committee do to be helpful to encourage a revitalization of a.m. radio. >> we'll take all the support from whatever quarter we can tell you. i've never been shy about the
issue of a.m. revitalization. you don't need to encourage me. it's important to talk about the importance that a.m. broadcasters do in their community every day and i know you visited some of these stations. to me they're not just call signs. these are folks who really are keeping the lights on and keeping their communities informed. >> my community is kwkx so i assume the entire commissions on board with that. everybody shook their head yes. >> across the board. that was one area where we had good cohesiveness. for all of you i understand that other countries are moving rapidly to make mid-band spectrum available for 5g services particularly china, japan and south korea are all making spectrum available to win the global race to 5g. my question is this, for each of you, two questions, one is in the united states -- are we
risking falling behind those other countries if we don't catch up in making mid-band spectrum available for 5g? >> i think we're in good shape right now but as your point said we got to keep the pedal down and keep moving forward and we have a number of proceedings right now that the chairman's teed up that will let us do that. i'm confident about where we stand right now. >> i agree and our spectrum management policies have to be all of the above to make sure we get the optimal use with the optimal players. >> chairman pai? >> yes. >> it's part of the equation, we have to address the midbands. 3.5, 3.1. we have to take action. >> i'm not the only one with a list. >> that's right. >> i think we are at risk of falling behind and i think we need something simple. we need a calendar for which bands are moving at what time. >> okay. >> i'd like to work with you on that some more if we can. thank you, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. ms. clark five minutes. >> thank you very much madam chair and i thank our ranking member doyle and i change our
commissioners chairman pai and commissioner carr, welcome. commissioner rosenwsarsal. >> perfect. >> welcome back. of course, it's good to see you commissioner cliburn. i wanted to just talk about how important today's hearing is, there's so many pressing matters and changes happening under the fcc's authority on a daily basis it seems and i can say that it's been quite instructively and interesting just listening to today's proceedings and your answers regarding these issues and the significance in facilitating announced changes. i want to talk about a couple of things that are currently on my mind and as co-chair of the multi-cultural media caucus with colleagues we're extremely interested in the recent media ownership changes. as you've indicated, chairman pai, the commission is poised to take an item to modify the local tv ownership rule at the next
commission meeting. this important rule provides for diversity of voices and ownership at the local level by limiting ownership of more than one tv station to the largest markets. hypothetically, commissioner pai, is the commission were to modify the local tv ownership rule next month by adopting a case by case approach, who do you think should have the burden of proof? those seeking more consolidation or more those seeking to maintain diversity of ownership? >> as always is the case if a prohibition remains and a party is seeking a relaxation of that prohibition on a case by case the petitioner would bear the burden of proof. >> so let me ask commissioner cliburn and rosenwsarsal. do you have any substantive or process concerns with the potential modification of local tv ownership rules? >> one of the things that we were demonized for was trying to look at the media ecosystem.
i don't think we had the tools and the data needed to make these wholesale changes looking at 67 -- there are 67 broadcast stations, clearly our policies must be out of sync because that is not diversity or inclusion in any stretch of the way. >> thank you for the question. listen, media ownership matters. what we see on the screen says so much about who we are as individuals, as communities and as a nation and right now when you look at the ownership structure it does not reflect the full diversity perform this country. i am worried that with more consolidation that's not going to get better, it's going to get worse. >> okay. can i just comment -- >> certainly. those situation we have today is under our current rules and those rules have been in place for so long they haven't worked. we ought to try something new. >> here's the question, you're
saying that it hasn't changed. we're not certain whether what you're proposing will make it even worser? >> really hard to get much worser. >> you think so? i know that is not the case. >> the numbers are so low. 12, the numbers are really low and -- >> right. >> and a lot of reasons why they're going to go even lower. >> what you're saying is your new proposal is going to transform that? what i'm asking you is your new proposal is going to transform that? is that what you're saying? are you saying here today that this new proposal is going to transform that? yes or no? >> it's not my proposal -- >> i'm just asking. >> but in general i'm hopeful that it provides -- >> you're hopeful, okay. >> the current situation isn't working. >> commissioner pai. >> the answer is yes. >> you think it will? >> absolutely. part of the reason we don't have more diversity because the prior majority rejected my proposal. part of the reason is because the prior lapse so we haven't
had input from stakeholders. i reinstituted that committee several months ago and specifically tasked one of the working groups for promoting more diversity in the broadcast business. the prior administration outlawed jsas. i've met with -- >> so are you saying that this is going to be a pilot project or is this going to be a wholesale change? >> we're seeking comment on the cope of the -- >> are you saying this is going to be pay wholesale change or a pilot program? >> the incubator program? >> yes. >> if we get the public input we need this is going to be a real program. >> okay. let me move on to my next question because i only have 18 seconds left and i'd like to ask -- we talk about that further. i've been working with congresswoman plastic weren't to the u.s. virgin islands and specifically is the fcc engaged to assist puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands regained the telecom capabilities in the wake of last month's hurricane season and what must we learn from
these hurricanes and their impact on existing communications infrastructure? >> yes, congresswoman is the answer to your question. i've personally called the congresswoman's office and offered our assistance as well. i make sure that i've talked to some of the stakeholders just as i have in puerto rico, who might have been infrastructure affected in the u.s. virgin island. conveyed to fema and others to the extent their power issues in the u.s. virgin islands we would love for the those communications power requirements to be elevated in terms of getting all that infrastructure on to the island and obviously their hospitals and schools and other things competing for attention. communications networks are critical too so we're working on it. >> as the chairman would also tell you that we forwarded a universal service green lit universal service money so people can build -- have hard dollars to rebuild their tell communication systems. >> we just -- doing something similar for erate for schools
and libraries to be help those in need. >> madam chair, i yield back and thank you. >> you are welcome. mr. walters, five minutes. >> thank you madam chair. i'd like to thank the witnesses for being here today and welcome the two newest fcc commissioners. 5g deployment is important to my district where the majority of the residences have multiple wireless devices. further investment in 5g deployment has the potential to create over 2,300 jobs in my district. a recently released survey found that 5g will improve business operations and competitiveness which further demonstrates the need to deploy this technology. since joining the subcommittee at the beginning of the year, earlier this month the governor of california vetoed a bill that would've established uniform standards across the state for the installation of 5g equipment. the bill would have limited the ability of local governments to block antenna placement it would
have also kept installation rates on public properties such as traffic lights but california's isn't the only state where citing is an issue. chairman pai, can the fcc take immediate action to work with states in localities to streamline the policy and can you briefly discuss what the sxhigs can do to address these issues? >> the answer is yes and we teed up earlier this year in our wireless infrastructure proceeding the number of different tools we could use to help streamline that approval process and i'm hopeful we can move on that relatively soon. >> commissioner carr, congratulations on your confirmation. >> thank you. >> your testimony mentioned that importance of 5g and the need for infrastructure to deploy this technology. are you concerned that local zoning requirements throughout the country not just in
california are impeding the deployment of the infrastructure necessary for 5g services? >> i am concerned. i was disappointed to see the veto of that small cell bill. we're going to see a massive new deployment of small cells. the current regime is not tailored to support that type of deployment. if we're to get 5g across the finish line this could be the real bottle neck. i'm actually we have a number of steps teed up at the commission and looking forward to working with my colleagues to get them across the finish line. >> thank you. this third question i have and you just touched a bit on it, chairman pai, wireless networks in puerto rico were devastated by hurricane maria. network in east texas and florida were impacted by hurricanes irma and harvey and the fires in my home state have damaged wireless infrastructure in california. and i commend you for speeding the availability of u.s. funds to carriers in puerto rico to accelerate rebuilding of these critical networks. will the fcc contemplate similar
efforts impacted the natural disaster? >> we're open to hearing that case and taking action if appropriate. >> all right. thank you i yield back the balance of my time. >> and the winner is, all right. way to go meme. mr. welch you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. welcome to the full commission. it's really tremendous to see you at full strength. congratulations on your confirmation. it's very good to have you back. >> thank you. >> it wasn't a swift process but it had an end result. mr. chairman, congratulations to you as well. >> thank you. >> net neutrality we've talked about and we know the debate here in my view was that the actions of the previous commission made a lot of sense but my understanding is that your commission is going -- is opening that up. you've got -- you've heard millions of comments and the
question i have is if -- the apprehension among the industry is largely been that there may be a new commission at some point that is overbearing but they won't necessarily agree to put in statute, they're assurances that they give privately and publicly that they won't do anything to interfere with net neutrality so there's a scepticism on their part about the durability of the current practice which worked well, but isn't it fair for consumers to have some scepticism that when ceos change in these companies, when shareholders start demanding a bigger return that there won't be the pressure to do things that advantage the company at the expense of the folks who need solid net neutrality, chairman pai?
>> i appreciate the question. obviously we are now engaged in the question of what is the regulatory framework best calibrated -- >> here's my question, why not have it be embodied in statute? they're saying -- they're saying to us as i assume they're saying to you, they want to maintain neutrality but that's whose in those executive offices now. there will be other people there later. so do you consider that to be a valid concern on the part of those of us who want to make certain that we preserve net neutrality? >> all i can say is what i said in the wake of the 2014 d.c. circuit decision which is the proper course is for congress to ultimately decide what the rules of the road is going to be. >> i don't have a lot of time, so commissioner o'reilly. >> embodied in the statute. that's the law and you have an opportunity to craft the law and then decide what we should go forward. i think that's what members of this committee were contemplating. >> we haven't seen the statute,
the majority has to act on that. rosenwsarsal? >> our internet economy is the envy of the world. it's built on a foundation of openness. i think our current rules support that openness. they have been sustained in courts and they are wildly popular. i'm at a loss that we would decide to take them away. >> thank you. a lot of us are from rural america, republicans and democrats up here, in fact, mr. lat and i started rural broadband caucus. the reason concern we have is not only deployment, it's the speed and there's been some movement towards reducing what is considered to be the adequate speed. that would be very damaging to us in rural america. commissioner cliburn do you want to comment on that?
>> i think any talk about slowing things down to do something sub-253 is problematic. it's problematic for keeping and insuring that rural america catches up. you haven't caught up and that is problematic so that's why this talk of loosening these standards of lowering speeds is just very problematic to me and that is not the direction we need to go. >> commissioner rosenwsarsal, you were in burlington, vermont. >> i was. >> appreciate your visit. burlington's not where we have the issue. that's an urban area. a lot of vermont is a lot much like rural america. it's slow. in rural vermont is on its heels economically. we have to have this tool to have any shot at getting back in the game. your view on the slowing or lowering the standards. >> i think lowering the standard is crazy. i believe you have to set audacious goals if you want to do big things and deciding that we can get 100 megabyte speed is worth the effort including rural america. >> chairman pai, you've got a real history of rural america. i'm hoping that you're not going to be in favor of changing the
definition for rural america? >> a few different points, congressman. the actual proposal is to maintain the 253 standard. there's no proposal other than that. secondly, i'm a little puzzled by the criticism, when the priority majority had the pen and were able to do something in december 2014 they decided to allocate billions of dollars of funding for 10 megabyte per second. according to them now that's not broadband. last year when we revitalized the lifeline program, i specifically suggested that we increase the speeds to 25 megahertz to second, if the fcc is brad brand the prior majority rejected that suggestion. i think it's a little hollow now to just be -- >> my time's up. i won't argue with you about that but you're in the chair now. >> that's why our proposed this to maintain the 253 standard. >> does that give us assurance that there's not going to be any
suggestion to lower that standard. >> we have -- congress charged us with taking a look at what is connectivity and as a part of that we have to seek comment on what is the impact of mobile broadband. are there some applications that they require 10 megahertz per second or some other standard? that's what we're trying to do but the lead proposal is to maintain that standard. >> thank you. >> gentleman yields back. mr. olson, five minutes. >> i thank the chair and welcome to our witnesses, a special welcome commissioner rosenwsarsal. i spent a few weeks with my dad in icu, it's not a pleasant time to have a loved one or parent in the hospital. thank you so much for coming. we're praying for you. >> thank you. >> my first question and comments are for mr. pai, chairman pai. thank you so much for coming down to houston to see the devastation of hurricane harvey first hand. you saw it with your own eyes.
i mean hit us twice, came back, 50 inches of rain in parts of the district and parts of the county. we can do much better. i would just like to ask you what do you see with respect to forms of communication networks throughout the region during hurricane harvey? what are the steps the fcc is taking to support the restoration and recovery efforts back home. >> appreciate the quell and your leadership on this issue. i know you've been active in trying to inform your constituents about where they could get help. few different things. number one the fcc is working very proactively to make sure that we assist state and local partners in texas and i personally visited. offered my assistance. few different things that we could do going forward. first, i was quite taking by a point that i learned at the harris county 911 center that were relatively reliable compared to say florida and puerto rico was because -- 33 trillion gallons of water were you dumped on houston was
because of the fiber based. despite the fact that there was a huge amount of weight faced on those networks. the second thing is that we all need to work together. we're all in it together. i heard time after time that state and local partners and the industry relied on our disaster information recovery reporting service which is very helpful and they also found it useful to have a point of contact at the fcc that necessity knew -- >> thank you how about what's called as you know is the wildest initiative to better prepare response for times of emergency. do you think this framework helps restore coverage faster. >> there's no question. i think i heard first hand from wireless providers when i was in texas about how useful that had been the other piece i should've mentioned as i understand the governors office provided some of these wireless companies with information as to where the
flooding was and some of the companies were able to overlay that information on where they saw their cell networks up or down and they were able to target in some places -- we see that there's huge flooding here but people on the network we need to get help there. that overlay is a benefit going forward that we'll be able to take advantage of in other jurisdictions. >> anything we can learn from harvey. he was down there. he saw first hand. >> i would just want to mention the network, the wireless network resiliency the industry coming together after hurricane
sandy. it's my hope that we will learn come practicably from this one. >> i'm out of time here. commission carr i believe you're going to texas, houston to see for yourself? >> on friday i'll be in houston meeting with broadcasters to see what the fcc can continue to do to support the recovery efforts. >> one thing i have to warn you about, can you say y'all? >> i'll work on it. >> and can you say beat l.a.? >> yep. >> will played. commissioner pai, i know you're a baseball fan. as i alluded to, l.a. dodgers are playing my houston astros in the world series, yesterday we had a rough day. didn't quite do as well as i wanted but that morning all over capitol hill signs popped up about that game especially this sign popped up on the door of the majority leader from california and having
jurisdiction over communications i want to make sure that is not some federal offense you're looking at. either neither confirm nor deny my involvement in those operations and one thing too, commissioner pai, what's your prediction, astros in five or six or seven games? >> congressman, i want to reiterate i stand in favor of the first amendment and your right to plaster. >> and the gentleman's time has expired. >> i like the word plaster. >> ms. brooks, five minutes. >> thank you. and thank you and congratulations to all of those who have recently gotten confirmed. just recently i joined with my colleague across the aisle to form a 5g caucus and we had our first briefing with congressional staff yesterday led by ctia and i'm learning more and more of how 5g, this is
not something that i think is commonly understood among the citizens of our country and i would be -- a slide was put up during the presentation that talked about the global race being on for 5g and quite frankly because we have often been the leaders in innovation and in technology in the world i was a bit surprised to see it appears that china and europe and others may be further along in 5g deployment than in the united states. and i'm curious whether or not -- now obviously some of those countries particularly china for instance, don't have the division in governments between federal, state and local jurisdictions the way that our great democracy does, but how are we taking that into account
and what should our rule be in congress and what can the fcc and our rule in congress do to better partner with our state and local governments because i think we're struggling quite frankly particularly in state legislators either educating or understanding what this race is about and what we're -- how we're i think falling behind? chairman pai, would you like to start as to what we could be doing differently and better because i think we all from what i could tell from your responses today we're in agreement here that we all need to do a lot more and a lot better but what does it mean for us, a, to fall behind and what should we be doing and i'm pleased indianapolis that i represent the northern part of is a 5g test site, but i think we're way behind these other countries. chairman pai? >> happy to answer. and before i start thanks for the hospitality you showed me in
noblesville. i think there's a significant opportunity cost that attaches to american inertia on this issue. if we don't lead, there's plenty of others that are more than happy to take that lead and one of the things i've learned in this role is they are quite eager to capitalize on what they see is a lesson of the 4g revolution. america was forward thinking in terms of spectrum and infrastructure. we had 4% of the world's population and 50% of the world's 4g lte subscriptions. europe and china among others have noticed they don't want that to happen with 5g. they're trying to be very aggressive and infrastructure as well. i think it's important for the fcc but not just the fcc to work very creatively about this issue. we really need to have a serious conversation about what is the appropriate regulatory framework for 5g. is it this trifurcated or quadfurcated regulates?
or is there a more streamlined approach we need to consider? i recognize the equities are difficulty. if national competitiveness in the wireless world is our priority, then we have to make some very difficult decisions. >> i appreciate the need for a calendar, the need for the discussions with state legislators but what -- what's the fcc doing and i'm sorry that i might've missed part of that relative to educating state legislators and local communities because in our state which did pass some legislation this last session it was a fight between local jurisdictions and state legislator and so what can we -- and the fcc be doing to maybe educate in large part or have these really tough discussions? i don't know if commissioner carr -- >> there's a number of steps that the fcc is taking and can continue to take on this. we have an advisory committee where we have representatives from local government on that that we can help have these discussions. but to your broader point this
is critically important. we heard the u.s. led the world in 4g. the regulatory structures we have right now are going to be the bottleneck that hold us back but i'm confident that right now at the commission we have the momentum to move forward to try to streamline some of those and it's going to make a real difference. we can shift entire communities from being uneconomical for the private sector to becoming economical simply by streamlining the deployment rules. >> briefly can someone say why it's important that we win this? anyone? >> risk capital's fickle. it will go to any country in the world where it thinks that innovation will find a home and that investment will yield a return and that doesn't necessarily have to be the united states in the 21st century. >> i think about our policies are flexible, that we include the needs of all communities, the voices of all communities
that we will win this race. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the lady yields back. mr. doyle. >> madam chair can i ask unanimous consent to waive mr. tonko on to the committee today? >> so ordered. >> thank you. thank you for conducting what i think is a very important hearing and welcome to all of our commissioners and thank you for your service in what are very critical issues for the growth of our economy. commissioner rosenwsarsal, i recently introduced the access broadband act to creatively an office of internet connectivity and growth within the telecommunications and information administration. under this bipartisan legislation that office would coordinate broadband deployment programs across our governments amongst other things to make sure we're all working together, pulling in the same direction and your time at the fcc, do you believe that our agencies could
do better coordinating with the various programs that serve broadband interests? >> thank you for the question. yes. more coordination is always going to make scarce dollars go further that's particularly true with the fcc and the folks who are just up the road from us at the agriculture department which runs grant and loan programs. the more coordination the better. >> any other comments from any our commissioners. >> and also when we're green lighting those devices we need to work closely with other agencies. when we talk about tele health. there's so many synergies that can be realized if we leverage those relationships we have inside of government. >> anyone else? my bill would also task this office with tracking just how many consumers each of these programs serve. so that we have a better sense of how many people are being connected because of these programs and where the consumers live.
so chairman pai, today does the fcc know definitively how many americans is t helps to serve through the connect america fund? >> we have an estimate but it's not as definitive as the metric that i think your legislation contemplates. >> is there any way you can commit to providing my office or this subcommittee the committee in general with that information before the end of the year? >> that information being the number? >> right. more than happy to provide any information that we have that bears on that question. >> thank you. commissioner rosenwsarsal, if put in the right context do you believe the information would be valuable for policy makers, not just as it relates to the connect america fund but for all of the government's broadband programs. >> absolutely. we can't manage what we don't measure.
if we get better broadband data that can inform all of our communication policy it can inform things like health care policy too so i think it's imperative. >> thank you. i have found that sometimes people without high speed broadband at their homes may not understand all the benefits that that broadband can bring. so education becomes important. that's why the access broadband act includes educational components to help people learn what broadband can do for them and the difference it can make in a community and what it means toward a stronger bid of economic recovery. so commissioner clyburn, do you believe that there is value in the educational component of what we're attempting to do here? >> if you talk about the educational component in terms of us, you know -- >> broadband awareness and what it provides. >> the commissioner talked about you can't measure -- whatever you said is true. but sign seller, you know, people don't -- you don't have the exposure, you don't know what's possible. you don't know what's possible for you to better age in place if you have connectivity if you're not aware of the options and opportunities so there's so many things from an educational
standpoint. we mentioned health in terms of keeping in touch and knowing what's going on in government in realtime. those are the types of things that can better empower individuals only with connectivity, only with awareness and i think all of us have a role to play in assuring that the public is informed so they can be better enabled to live their lives more fully. >> thank you very much. and finally i know that there was some exchange with our colleague from vermont but the commission is considering lowering its definition of broadband or could to be honest, it is hard to make sense of this proposal when i receive calls from my constituent day in and day out asking for faster broadband speeds. they don't want the fcc to lower the definition of broadband. they want a faster internet access. so while we did hear some of that exchange, are there other comments you would want to make about that definition of broadband?
>> two different points. first as i said the proposal is to maintain the 25/3 standard. the second point i will add is that if you look at some of the decisions we have made in terms of our universal service fund we've been always trying to push the envelope and that's why in the very first vote that happened as i became chairman after i became chairman was to deliver $173 million to unserved parts to upstate new york so they can have the connectivity that folks in big cities take for granted. >> anyone else? >> the gentleman yields back. mr. engle for five minutes. >> thank you madam chair. i want to start with funding for the repack. the fcc has reduced its total cost estimate for the repacking process downward approximately 2.1 billion to 1.86 billion. many have told me that they think the amount is likely higher, so chairman pai, do you think that congress should provide additional funding for the repacking process? >> thanks for the question and
that number could fluctuate up or down. it's not set in stone at this point. what i said to the other committees on the senate side was that to the extent that we don't have any ability to be 1.7 fund the that otherwise broadcasters would have to pay out of their own pockets in order to fill. >> let me also ask you this, mr. chairman. if congress provides additional funding, do you believe that low power tv stations and tv translators should also be eligible for naunding? >> that's decision for congress to make. congress decided not to give those entities rights in terms of reimbursements. if congress changes that determination then certainly the fcc would be duty bound and happy administer it. >> you don't have personal have a position on that. >> i personally think i've been
talking about a lot of these people and they're in a tough situation. i can tell you i've been pushing for them since september 28th of 2012 when we issued the notice of proposed rule making on this issue. whatever consideration the fcc can give them and congress too would be a welcome. >> because there's another group that we've heard from fm radio station impacted but not included. >> we've heard those concerns too that under the act -- but to the extent they are piggybacking on infrastructure that is owned by the television broadcaster, i think congress could step in and provide some relief. >> thank you. let me ask commissioner clyburn how important is it to ensure that there is money for consumer education in this transition? >> it's just so obvious. in terms of looking at what impact, if any. hopefully negligible that would happen in this -- as we move toward relocating and making our ecosystem more efficient. the public needs to be aware
that the low power the station's and those -- those who are not protected but impacted they need to be informed and we need to continue to do what we can to protect them to make sure they don't have to do relocation twice. all of these things are very important, you know, for us to be at the forefront of insuring that the transition is smooth as possible. >> i don't think anybody would really disagree. let me talk a bit about cybersecurity and commissioner rosenwsarsal i'm going to ask you a question. we've seen from high profile data breaches in companies like equifax to yahoo to login names and passwords so do you think that the fcc has the necessary authority to address cybersecurity? >> thank you for the question. i do. i believe the very first communications act references are obligation to make sure that we make available communications for the purposes of national defense and for the protection
of safety of life and property. i believe that encompasses what is modern which is cybersecurity. i recognize that our cyber aggressors will always move faster than any regulation. can we bring people together so we can come up with good best practices and implement them widely to make sure our networks are more secure. >> did the congressional review act rescinding the fcc's broadband privacy rules have any effect on the fcc's cybersecurity authority? >> that's a good question. the primary problem right now with cybersecurity is my colleagues don't agree with me and in addition there's the fact that our communication security reliability and intraoperatively council used to be task with coming together and identifying good practices for cybersecurity that is not part of their agenda. >> finally, how did the cra impact the security of consumers private information? >> i think we're going to only time will tell but i am worried about that as well. >> thank you.
>> let the record reflect that i cosigned. >> thank you. >> gentleman yields back. for everyone's awareness they're going to call votes in about 15 minutes. ms. mcmorris rodgers is seeking to be uc'd to the purpose of asking a question. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, chairman black burn for giving me the opportunity for joining me today. the internet is vital to an individual's economic potential in the 21 century. unfortunately many in eastern washington live with a digital divide that is limiting employment, educational, health and economic opportunities. insuring that hard working families in eastern washington have reliable access to broadband technology is the top priority of mine and we must use every tool in the toolbox to provide greater opportunity. that's why i'm excited in the opportunity to build out from
the broadcast incentive. many individuals and families in the most rural parts of my district struggle to get a signal for cell phone let alone connect to the internet. i'm encouraged by the commitment the private sector has made and the practical effect it will have in eastern washington. deployment of infrastructure and technology as a result of the option will support millions of jobs and generate billions in economic opportunity in rural america. and increased broadband will help the u.s. continue its leadership in technology and innovation by providing an on ramp for 5g network deployments. that's why i led a letter with congresswoman eshoo in a bipartisan group of 54 of our colleagues urging the fcc to support the time line resulting from the auction. this issue is too important insuring that the repack remains on schedule will mean that many in eastern washington will gain
reliable broad be band access in a matter of months not years. i want to thank the fcc for putting a renewed emphasis on closing the digital divide and i'm encouraged by the engagement of the commission in looking for new innovative ways to deliver broadband to the 35 million americans without access. i believe we have a great opportunity working together in a bipartisan manner to provide every american the opportunity they deserve regardless of where they live. i look forward to you making that a reality. at this time i'd like to submit to the committee this letter that congresswoman eshoo and i led. >> so ordered. >> before i go i'd also like to ask you chairman pai, on title two, until the last fcc chairman acted late in the previous administration to up end really decades of bipartisan work in fostering broadband
infrastructure, providers of this service were provided to a light regulatory touch. as you made the rounds throughout the country, are you concerned about achieving the level of broad band to ememploy -- employ areas into the u.s. kp can y and can you tell us what's on the horizon for folks that just want fast and releeiable enter t service? >> thank you for that and for capturing the productivity to folks in eastern washington. we are engaged in proceeding to figure out the framework that is calibrated to promote the 42y and open internet and preserve as much infrastructure as possible especially in parts of the country that don't have it. we've taken a fair amount public comment to this point and we're studying the record and trying to figure out the appropriate
way forward. what i can tell you is that we want to make sure, not just in this proceeding but in every proceeding that we have first and foremost in our minds cl closing the digital divide. there are far too many americans on the wrong side of that divide who don't have opportunities that others have. there are communities that are going to wigtwither on the vine. that is why the first day in office i said this would be our top priority and it's going to remain so so long as i draw a paycheck from the fcc. >> thank you for that commitment. there being no further members wishing to ask questions of the panel, you all have been generous with your time for the over past three hours and i thank you all for being here today. as we conclude, i ask unanimous consent to enter the following letters into the record. the five documents offered by
mr. doyle, the paper offered by mr. pallone, the letter from the lptv coalition and the repact letter. without objection so ordered. pursuant to committee rules i remind members they have ten business days to submit additional questions for the record and i ask that witnesses submit their responses within ten business days upon receipt of the questions. seeing no further business before the subcommittee today, without objection, the sa subcommittee is adjourned.
with the free cspan radio radiculopathy. this coming monday james mattis and secretary of state rex tillerson will testify before the senate foreign relations committee regarding military authorization powers. live coverage starts at 5:00 p.m. eastern on cspan. it's also on our website and listen with the free cspan radio app. this weekend on american history tv on cspan3, saturday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, university of california san diego professor alvarez on the 1943 los angeles zuit suit riots and how they were used to challenge conventional and racial identities. >> zuit suitors were viewed as public enemy. if not number one, then number two or one b right behind japanese americans. they were seen as unamerican.
>> sunday at 6:00 p.m. on american artifacts, saving slave houses project explores the green hill plantation. >> this site, green hill plantation, has the original slave owner here was very active in the slave trade and so one of the things he decided to put in his yard is a slave auction block and auctioneer stand. >> you can definitely feel the power of this place. i think that auction block standing where it is right now is a huge part of why this site is so powerful. this would have been really the last place men, women, children would have been with their families. after this place, they would have been scattered all across the united states and so this is really kind of ground zero for that experience here. >> and at 8:00, an interview with the stone mason who built the outer walls of the white house. >> a 14 foot swag over the front
door which is carved with lilies and flowers and griffins and acorns and everything you can think of. it's very lush over the front door. probably the finest example of carving in america for 100 years. >> american history tv all weekend every weekend only on cspan3. cia director mike pompeo now on national security policy including cyber security and threats from isis, iran, russia, and north korea. also the modernization of intelligence gathering capabilities. [ applause ] good morning, everybody. i hope everyone's doing well. i want to thank cliff, mark, and the fdd team for hosting this incredibly important and timely national security forum. obviously i want to